Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/612/8854
Student places crisis
According to UCAS, the university admissions body, 570,556 applications for university places were made by the end of January, a rise of 22.9% on 2009. If this rate continues throughout the summer there could be a shortfall of 300,000 places! That is not just 300,000 less students but up to 300,000 more to join the dole queues!
Many more school leavers are opting to stay on in higher education because of the lack of employment opportunities. Many of those who lost out on a place in 2009 have reapplied this year. And there has been a huge rise in the applications from mature students, presumably because there are few jobs. Figures show that applications for over 25s have risen by over two thirds.
Sally Hunt, general secretary of the UCU lecturers' union said the government was "abandoning a generation who instead of benefiting from education will find themselves on the dole." The Telegraph described how vice chancellors openly admitted that students from working-class backgrounds are more likely to lose out to students from schools in middle class areas who would be selected first.
Cuts don't help
Despite the obvious need for more university places the official statistics show that the level of places will remain static although many universities have indicated that places will go down.
It seems likely that places will be down just by looking at the cuts already taking place. In the University of Glamorgan there have already been huge cutbacks and officially they haven't even begun.
Despite the spin that New Labour have opened up access to education, recent figures published in the Telegraph suggest that student numbers have actually fallen by 0.6% in the last ten years.
Young people no longer have a choice about whether to fight back or not.
In The Socialist 17 February 2010:
Socialist Party campaigns
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Socialist Party news and analysis
Youth fight for jobs
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news and analysis