Figures released today by UCAS show that the number of 18-year olds in England applying to university has reached a record high.
The application rate for 18-year-olds in England has increased to its highest ever level of 34.8%. The rate of disadvantaged young people in England has also increased to its highest ever level, rising to 20.7%.
This means that 18 year olds living in the most disadvantaged areas of England are nearly twice as likely to apply to university than they were 10 years ago increasing from 10.7% in 2004 to 20.7% in 2014.
Overall the applicant rate is up by 4% to 580,000.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable said:
"Going to university should be accessible to everyone with ability, not the ability to pay. Our reforms were tough but they were right and we are now seeing the fruits of our efforts. Eighteen-year olds from poorer backgrounds are applying at a record rate and are now twice as likely to consider going to university than ten years ago.
“It's also good to see an increase in the number of people applying for engineering and technology. These are key to ensuring our country stays ahead of the global competition.
“It's clear that young people understand that investing in a degree is an investment for their future. New students do not pay fees upfront, there is more financial support for those from disadvantaged backgrounds and everyone will make lower loan repayments once they are in well paid jobs."