Number of 'fee refugees' up by nearly a fifth

29th April 2005 at 01:00
Applications to Scottish higher education institutions from so-called "fee refugees" south of the border are up 17 per cent on this time last year.

Applications from England are running at 28,948 (around 4,200 more than last year) - but figures released this week from the admissions service UCAS show little movement from the trend reported in January.

A spokesman for the Scottish Executive said: "It is too early to say whether the increase in applications from English-domiciled students has been influenced by the variable fees regime which is due to be introduced in June 2006, and we will continue to monitor these."

Powers in the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Bill would allow ministers to set higher fee levels to protect the interests of Scottish students.

Meanwhile, the level of Scottish applications to home institutions shows a modest rise - up 1.7 per cent on last year. The biggest increase is in applications from new members of the EU.

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