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News: University application figures pessimistic? Au contraire…

Sustained appeal of UK universities despite Brexit
Feb 2, 2017

Brexit scaremongers ignore positives:

  • UK universities still heavily oversubscribed
  • Non-EU overseas applicants at highest ever level
  • EU applicants at 3rd highest ever level
  • 40% oversubscription of EU students in 2016
  • Expected boost in EU student numbers prior to March and June deadlines
  • EU students represent just 5% of total student population


A fuss about nothing

The doom merchants were having a field day today as UCAS revealed their university applications data for the January 2017 deadline.

With EU applications down by 7% from 2016, surely this proves that everybody’s worst fears for UK Higher Education are coming to pass?

Emphatically NOT.

January 2014 saw 39,780 EU applicants for UK university places, followed in January 2015 by 42,720.

The following year, 2016, saw a leap of 6% to a record 45,220.

So the difference between today and two years ago is just 650 applicants – roughly four students per university.

EU student applications to the UK

Hardly a catastrophic decline, but understandable given the universal confusion in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum; the situation will be clearer by the time of the March and June application deadlines, and we would expect EU numbers to increase correspondingly.

(Non-EU overseas student applications are at a record high, incidentally, but that doesn’t seem to have troubled the headline writers).

In 2016, a total of 51,845 EU applications resulted in 31,350 places being offered – an acceptance rate of around 60%.

It would be perfectly feasible for the universities to raise their acceptance rate to 70% and still be significantly oversubscribed.

In our view, it’s a bit of a storm in a teacup about a small demographic which only makes up around 5% of the UK’s student population; we think the outlook for investors in student property is still very rosy indeed. Find out more about student accommodation investments after Brexit.

UK student population by origin


Sustained demand for student property

The truth is, student accommodation supply levels are so chronically low (especially in our handpicked cities) that minor dips in applicant numbers will have no bearing whatsoever on demand or rental income growth.

View our student property investments.

Quality accommodation & facilities


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