Scottish students opt for home

The credit crunch may be boosting university applications, it is being suggested.

The latest figures from the admissions service UCAS show a 2.4 per cent increase in the number of Scots applying to study in Scotland, while there has been a drop by 5 per cent in Scots applying to English universities and a 2 per cent drop of English applicants applying to Scotland.

The figures suggest that the prospect of top-up fees in England is not sending as many English students north of the border as predicted, while Scottish students are opting to study closer to home.

A spokesman for Universities Scotland said there had been an overall increase in applications to Scotland of 0.9 per cent, although England had seen an increase of 9.7 per cent. The disparity could be explained, he said, by the fact that Scotland did not have any extra places while England was expanding. The rise in applications to higher education could be down to fears about the economy.

"University applications drop when job markets for school leavers are buoyant and when school-leavers think they can make money straight away. But if they think they need to prepare for the longer-term, they are more likely to go to university," said the Universities Scotland spokesman.

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