Despite rising fees, there has been a substantial rise in university applications across Britain, meaning that more young people than ever are heading off to university.
The main findings of increased applications point to a definite increase and were taken and documented by UCAS ahead of the final January deadline earlier this year.
Now with results day looming on the horizon, could we be set for an incredibly huge influx of young people into higher education across the UK this coming September?
The key findings from the report point to the argument that university is in fact growing in popularity, with applications rates from English 18 year olds reaching record highs, increasing by 0.4 per cent from last year, meaning that 37.4 per cent of all 18 year olds in the UK are now students!
Application rates have also increased in Wales by 0.3 per cent, whilst rates in Northern Ireland remain stable, with nearly half of the 18 year old population being in higher education.
Although the admission rate actually fell in Scotland by 0.2 per cent, the vast majority of university applications are not actually completed through UCAS, meaning that the figures cannot be reliable.
Despite this, one would strongly suspect Scotland did see an increase in numbers to reflect that of England and Wales.
According to UCAS news, more 18 year olds than ever are likely to attend higher education in the UK, with applications remaining high across both genders, yet seeing a slightly higher increase in young women, who are 36 per cent more likely to apply for university than young men, an incredibly small increase from last year.
In contrast to this, Scotland have witnessed an increase in young men applying whilst also recording a substantial drop in applications from young women.
Over in Wales, the difference between the sexes has increased, women are 48 per cent more likely to apply for university than men, whilst being 40 per cent more likely in Northern Ireland.
In terms of social divides, there has arguably been a positive change in admissions from students hailing from disadvantaged areas.
The highest number of applications from students from disadvantaged areas was received in January 2018, increasing by 22.6 per cent in England, 24.5 per cent in Northern Ireland and 19.7 per cent in Wales- meaning more disadvantaged students than ever are gaining the opportunity to further their studies in higher education through hard work and dedication.
Despite these positive increases, there are some features of the UCAS report which can be seen as troubling.
Student nursing applications have dropped dramatically since the government decided to scrap grants, meaning that many nurses are now unable to complete their course, as many have family to care for, other commitments or are simply lacking in funds and do not want to be saddled with the debt- with our NHS struggling as it is, this is not a good sign.
The high costs of university may have also discouraged mature students from applying for university, as there was a substantial drop in their applications in January 2018, according to the Chief Executive of UCAS, the report is being used to work out what works in term of applications- and what does not.
The fall in mature student applications could also have a financial edge to it, as the staggering cost of university may often seem as too much for a mature student already saddled with debt from their experience in the working world so far.
If mature students do attend university, they often have to work alongside their studies, sometimes opting for full time employment!
Concerning student nurse applications, there are now calls for all student nurses and midwives to earn a living wage whilst completing their 2300 hours within a clinical setting during their degree- as thousands are angered by the fact that they are being paid nothing whilst also being expected to pay for their degree as well- the petition ranked up 17,000 signatures in just 48 hours!
According to Nurse Notes, the financial pressure of taking a nursing degree, saddled with the endless, gruelling working hours and the sleepless nights, makes for an incredibly stressful experience and one that can weigh heavily on the mental health of young nurses, clearly, the scrapping of grants has been a disaster and the results show this.
Despite the obvious financial impact of attending higher education, it appears that young people are still queuing up to head to university.
This can certainly be shown in the results from the student survey held by Accommodation for Students, which revealed that a whopping 51 per cent of all students would not necessarily vote for a political party simply because they swore to abolish tuition fees- although the reasons behind this are of course varied.
With half of the student population stating that the fees of university are not too much of an issue for them, it is evident why there has been such a substantial increase in applications this year, and with the cap of wages being upped to £25,000 before student loan repayment, maybe the majority of students do not really think about the financial impact.
However, for nurses and midwives, who have to work the long hours expected of them with no wage and no grant, many holding down a full time job whilst also working full time nursing hours, the reality is all too present.