Numbers at King’s Lynn university centre on the up

Official Opening of the New University Centre at the College of West Anglia King's Lynn
Official Opening of the New University Centre at the College of West Anglia King's Lynn

As national reports show the number of university applications has fallen from last year, one West Norfolk college is bucking the trend.

While figures show applications have fallen by five per cent in England this year, the College of West Anglia’s University Centre has seen a 35 per cent increase in the number of students who accepted a place there.

A spokeswoman for the CWA said: “At the University Centre West Anglia our students are able to study for an Anglia Ruskin University validated degree but on their doorstep in King’s Lynn or Milton in Cambridge.”

This increase is in spite of the rising costs of university life, which according to a report by the National Union of Students (NUS) has seen the cost of purpose-built accommodation rise by 23 per cent over the last six years.

The report suggests this rapid increase in rent, along with tuition fees, is driving students to look for cost-saving alternatives.

The CWA spokeswoman said: “We have heard from a number of clearing applicants especially that their decision to come to us was partially at least financially driven.

“Studying locally will enable them to save on travel and accommodation costs compared to moving away or travelling to universities further away.”

She added: “As you can see contrary to national trends our local response in the UCAS clearing cycle has been highly positive with firm acceptances to the HE degree programmes via UCAS significantly above the levels secured last year.”

There are suggestions that for students on a tight budget, the difference in price can be the deciding factor between going to university or not.

According to research by teen magazine Future Mag, students starting this September will rack up between £43,000 to £57,000 worth of debt over their time at university, depending on how much parents help them – although most graduates will not pay their loans back completely.

It comes after students across West Norfolk received their A-level results on Thursday last week, with many of them going on to study higher education courses at university starting in September.

Clearing may still be an option for students looking to get a university place, with CWA’s clearing hotline open between 8am and 5pm today for information about degree and other higher education programmes on offer.

Students can phone 01553 815650 to find out more.