Has the rise in student fees affected the job market?
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The number of university applicants has decreased by 7.7% over the past year, UCAS figures reveal. This comes as no surprise, however, as many leading universities, including Britain’s most popular universities, are demanding tuition fees of up to £9,000. But how will this reduced competition for places affect students when it comes to the job market? Countries like China and South Korea where college application rates are some of the highest in the world also have some of the fiercest job markets. By that measure, reduced competition at an admissions level could potentially improve graduates’ job prospects in the long term - but only if the number of applicants continues to drop. However, Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of Universities UK, believes this is unlikely to happen. In a BBC interview earlier this year she said, “If we look at how the dip worked in 2006, which is when tuition fees were originally introduced, they did recover in subsequent years. “Furthermore, if you look at the number of 18 year olds then the dip is very much less, around about 4% in terms of applicants.” Which, of course, would have no measureable effect on the job market.
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