Rising numbers of students are applying to start courses at University Campus Suffolk this year – outstripping the national increase.

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The Ipswich-based higher education institution said there was a 14% annual increase in applications submitted by the end of June.

Figures were not disclosed but the rise is significantly higher than the England increase of 3%. There was a 2.2% rise in the east of England, with 46,100 applications submitted.

It comes amid plans for the university campus to become an independent institution.

If successful, UCS will become the first independent university in Suffolk awarding its own degrees, which are currently jointly validated by its two partner institutions.

Set up in 2007, the university campus is currently a partnership between the University of East Anglia and the University of Essex.

The news also comes a month after it was revealed UCS had scaled a league table of universities. It is now ranked 79th out of 116 in the Guardian League Tables.

Yesterday, UCS Provost Richard Lister credited the rise in applications to a blossoming reputation of the institution.

He said: “We are very pleased to have further increased applications to UCS for this September and at a much faster rate than the national average.

“We are constantly aiming to improve the offer that we make to students and the experience that they have during their time with us and this is borne out by our rapid rise up the league tables.”

The final deadline for would-be students applying through the main admissions scheme was June 30.

After that point, applications go straight into clearing, the annual summer process in which universities and colleges fill any places they have remaining.

The 14% rise in applications was seen across UCS campuses in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

It was not disclosed what proportion of would-be students had submitted applications from outside the region.

Currently, there are just over 5,000 students at UCS across the network, a UCS spokesman said.

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