Queen Mary applications up despite tuition fee rise

Queen Marys students

Students at QMU

Undergraduate applications to Queen Mary University have reached their highest levels despite a falling number of applications across the UK.

Applications for 2012 entry rose almost 4 per cent in total from last year, according to  figures gathered by the Sunday Times.

Dentistry and Medicine applications reached record numbers, with  a 27 per cent increase in undergraduate medicine applications this year.

The number of medicine and dentistry applicants plummeted by 3.8 per cent elsewhere across the country, official figures show.

The university is bucking the trend in the capital.  While UCAS recorded an 8.3 per cent decrease in applications to UK institutions overall, London universities faired worse with a drop of 9.6 per cent.

Anthony Warrens, Dean for Education at Queen Mary said: “Our current students seem ever more confident about recommending the School. They are making a big investment in their years here and they can see how committed we all are to making sure that they get what they need from university life.  They are the ones I believe we have to thank for our great popularity this year.”

Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry was ranked second for dentistry and fourth for medicine in the UK in the most recent Research Assessment exercise. It took first place in London, followed by University College of London, Imperial College and King’s College. It was placed sixth in the UK for Medicine and seventh for Dentistry in the Complete University Guide 2012.

Goldsmiths suffered a drop in applications this year, but not as significant a drop as was reported in some news coverage over the weekend. The Sunday Times suggested that there had been a drop of 35% but, according to a Goldsmiths spokesperson, the journalist concerned has now apologised and clarification of the figures will appear on their website.

The total number of new applicants to Goldsmiths has dropped by 27, which is in line with national averages. At this stage of the application process this isn’t seen by the college as a matter of concern.

The total sum of applications usually includes a large number of places that have been deferred from the previous year. Very few of last year’s students deferred their places.  Goldsmiths said:

“ With the increases in fees from just over £3,000 per year in 2011, to £9,000 in 2012, the decrease in deferred applications is not surprising. A student is unlikely to defer a £3,000 per year place and voluntarily pay £9,000 a year instead and this is a trend likely to be seen across the whole sector.”

Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of the umbrella group for vice-chancellors, Universities UK, told the Guardian, “Historically, the application figures at the end of October have proven to be unreliable indicators of the final numbers. It may also be that students are taking longer this year to consider their options.”

Marlon Gomes, Head of Admissions at QMU, commented: “Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry should be extremely proud of bucking the trend and attracting more students than ever, despite the change in tuition fees for 2012 entry. The University scored a fantastic 88 per cent in this year’s National Student Survey and regularly appears in the UK top 20 in major league tables. Our teaching and research are world renowned and we also rank extremely highly on student employability and starting salaries. Future students have clearly taken notice.”

Applications for non-medical or dental programmes close on January 15 for 2012 entry.

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