The recent rush of A-level results across the UK has prompted a new wave of applications for university places in 2015. According to the latest stats, almost 500,000 students from across the country have been given a place at university for the forthcoming academic year. That figure represents an increase of 4% on 2014.
Owing to the lifting of the student number cap this year, competition among universities for students has become increasingly ferocious, with many small and medium-sized institutions snapping up many through the clearing system. However, while such competition is great for UK residents, the process likely won’t help those wanting to obtain a degree in the UK as a T4 applicant.
Although the latest round of admission data hasn’t commented on the number of T4 visa applicants entering the university this year, some feel that increased competition for places could push out current prospects. Not only that, but the current structure of the admission system as a whole seems to be one that does not suit students either inside or outside of the UK.
Indeed, under the current set up, students are offered a conditional place on a course pending the publication of their A-level results. However, those who don’t perform as expected are then forced to go through the clearing system. This is a process which creates an air of mass panic. However, T4 visa applicants are required to have a firm offer of a place on a university course as well as funds to cover their fees and cost of living.
Although somewhat necessary, these conditions didn’t make it easy for T4 visa applicants to gain a place at a UK university and, with more people now likely to compete for a place within the UK, things could get even tougher.
Of course, the reverse could certainly be true and the removal of a student cap could help T4 students gain places on a course. However, the increased number of students could also lead to increases in tuition fees, something which would then have an impact on T4 applicants.
Despite increased numbers now applying for university, the system as a whole is one that’s being pushed to the limit and that’s something that may soon become an issue for T4 visa applicants.