Rise in applicants to University Campus Suffolk

MORE people are applying to study at University Campus Suffolk (UCS) than ever before, new admission figures have revealed.

Lizzie Parry

MORE people are applying to study at University Campus Suffolk (UCS) than ever before, new admission figures have revealed.

Suffolk's first university, which opened its flagship building on the Waterfront in Ipswich in September 2008, is proving more popular as figures reveal the number of people choosing to study here is on the up.

In the last year UCAS admissions have increased by 46%, double the national rise for applicants to UK universities and colleges of 23%.

Three quarters of those admissions have come from prospective students in the Eastern region, with students from the rest of the UK and Europe making up 25% of the applicants.

Lucy Whitmore, head of admissions at UCS said they have been dealing with unprecedented numbers of applications and in particular there has been a surge in the applications for vocational courses such as Social Work, Nursing and Radiography, indicating people are retraining directly into a job.

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Another area of growth are business and leadership courses proving popular with people who are trying to gain new skills in their current job as well as improving their employability in the future.

The impact of the recent economic downturn was felt last year as people who lost their jobs sought to retrain. Mrs Whitmore said that trend has been evident again this year as more people make inquiries as they consider changing career.

Acting chief executive of UCS Richard Lister said the figures have been very encouraging.

“We are very pleased,” he said. “It is proof we are doing quite a number of things right, providing an attractive offer in a great environment.

“We are beginning to get the offer right, it is not perfect but clearly we are attractive as we have seen twice the national number of applicants.

“We are relatively new, Ipswich and Suffolk has been waiting for this. There has been an un-tapped demand from people looking to go to university close to home.

“And we are now seen as a realistic alternative to other more established universities. Our track record has shown that and people are now deciding what we have to offer stacks up against the alternatives.”

In the summer the new halls of residence, Athena Hall, will open in time to offer nearly 600 students accommodation at the start of the next academic year. And at the end of the year the second academic building, currently going up on the Waterfront will open to students.

UCS will continue to receive applications for a number of courses and the admissions team are predicting demand for places could increase further in the next few months.

If you are interested in studying at UCS visit www.ucs.ac.uk for more information about the courses and facilities on offer.