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Deloitte comments on university acceptance figures

16 August 2012

Commenting as UCAS released figures showing the number of university acceptances, Paul Stephenson, graduate recruitment partner at Deloitte, said:  

“One of the knock-on effects of the changes in higher education is that career decisions have been put at the forefront of students’ minds.  Those considering going to university this year are scrutinising their options, with many deciding that developing their career is best served on a school leaver or apprenticeship programme.  University remains a popular destination for students, but the high profile debate around fees for further education has led to students giving greater consideration to their next steps after school.

“We have seen a large increase in interest in our graduate, work experience and school leaver roles and now offer 1,750 entry level routes into the firm.  This includes 100 BrightStart positions for students after A-levels, and we have increased the number of graduate positions from 1,100 to 1,200 for the 2013 intake.”

Julie Mercer, head of education consulting at Deloitte, said: “It will be interesting to see, with deeper analysis of the figures, whether any particular groups of students have opted not to apply for university, what influenced this decision and how the number of applicants will shift in coming years.

“In the current economic climate, there has been a general aversion to personal debt which will have played a part in many students pursuing other options. However, higher fees many not be the only factor. There is also competition from international universities, new players entering the higher education market and the resurging popularity of direct entry into the workplace.

“Universities need to understand why students’ willingness to apply is changing, how it impacts their businesses and how they can respond. They will need to demonstrate that their degree programmes continue to offer value for money and career prospects to students who are considering an increasing range of alternative options, and experiencing more financial pressures, than before.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

About Deloitte
Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

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