Encouraging news for nursing, with student course acceptances remaining high

 

Last week, we reported on the first wave of data published in the UCAS End of Cycle Report (which gives an overview of demand for, and acceptances to, the UK higher education for the previous year). The first data concentrated on applicants and acceptances and their patterns by age. This time, it’s time to look at which subjects are in favour (or not as the case may be). We’ll cover the third and forth cycles in the coming weeks.

It was reported that – for the most part – the trends in 2017 closely followed those in previous years. The top five subject groups in 2017, by acceptances, were business and administration; subjects allied to medicine; biological sciences social studies and creative arts and design (a full list is included in the report).

Other points of interest were as follows. Since 2008, the largest growth in acceptances were seen in biological sciences, social studies, and computer sciences. Whilst longer term declines in acceptances to European languages and non-European languages continued. 

In terms of the male / female subject divide, it showed that more women than men were accepted for 18 out of the 26 subject groups.  And the most skewed acceptances for each gender, showed that more than six women for every man were accepted for education, whilst more than six men for every woman were accepted for computer science.

The stand out anomaly came in the shape of nursing however. The number of students who were accepted into nursing hit 28,260, which – despite an 18% drop in the number of applications – is the second highest figure on record. It also showed a 13% decline in acceptances to nursing subjects in the 21 – 25 age group, and a 6% decline for those aged 26 or above. However, these decreases were largely offset by the increased acceptances of younger applicants.

Clare Marchant, Chief Executive of UCAS said: "It’s great to see these high numbers of acceptances onto nursing courses, despite a switch from NHS bursaries to tuition fees for nursing subjects at English universities. As the majority of UK acceptances to nursing courses (78% in 2017) are from England, nursing is particularly sensitive to changes in behaviour from English applicants. The general decline in older applicants entering higher education, which we have noted as a trend, is highly pronounced in nursing subjects. UCAS is keen to investigate this further, working with partners in the sector."

 

Thursday, 7 December 2017

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Encouraging news for nursing, with student course acceptances remaining high