Published on February 5, 2013 | by Adam Leyland


UAL applications increase despite post-grad concerns

Student outside Camberwell College

Following a difficult year for UK universities UAL has seen an increase in applications. [Jon Durr]

UAL has seen an increase in university applications following last year’s slump, according to the latest UCAS figures.

Natalie Brett, pro vice chancellor and head of college at London College Communication confirmed that applications across the university are “generally up on last year at this stage.”

Arts London News has not been given access to the exact figures, but statistics published by UCAS show that applications rose by 3.5 per cent across the UK for full-time undergraduate courses compared to last year, giving “the first reliable indication of demand for Higher Education in the UK this year,” it said.

UCAS recently admitted that last year had been one of the most difficult years the education sector had ever known in its 2012 End of Cycle Report.

The difficulties extended to UAL, which had to deal with an increase in tuition fees and 6,000 fewer applications.


The university is set to have virtually no public funding by 2015, vice chancellor Nigel Carrington told The Guardian recently.

“The real whammy that everybody’s afraid of is the decline in postgrad students.” Gary Horne, LCC MA Journalism course director

Student fees are set to make up 75 per cent of the university’s income by 2015.

“There were 54,000 less UK students [applications] last year,” Gary Horne, LCC MA Journalism course director told ALN.

“But the real whammy that everybody’s afraid of [at UAL] is the decline in postgrad students, this will be even more dramatic in 2015/16 when students have been paying £9,000 for three years.”

UAL are planning several long-term projects to bring in more students.

Horne said that the university is now looking at implementing Continuing Professional Development (CPD), a scheme that allows those already working to study an MA course part-time, through short courses or even online.

Filling the gaps

The policy could help fill the gap in non-EU MA student applications.

Horne also said that the university could make it easier to accept students on their applied courses. “They will drop all the grades to get in, every university is doing that,” he said.

“I thought we’d have problems, but we haven’t. We are managing.” Drama Centre MA Screen course director, Alan Dunnett

UAL has also recently appointed a team of staff to develop an Enterprise and Innovation Centre at LCC.

The centre will offer design consultancy, joint ventures with arts and design brands and work with companies across the sector, linking students with employers, which it’s hoped will also bring in revenue for the university.

Meanwhile, many courses at UAL have been unaffected by overall drop in applications over the past year.

MA Screen course director Alan Dunnett said that even though his course at Drama Centre, CSM, had seen a fee increase over three years ago, application figures remained steady.

“Back then I had a moment of big anxiety, I thought we’d have problems, but we haven’t. We are managing,” he said.



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