Feb 14 2013 by Rob Pattinson, Ormskirk Advertiser
EDGE Hill University has revealed an annual surge in student applications across a range of courses – in the week its latest plans for development were approved.
As of the January 15 UCAS census date the university had received 17,780 applications for undergraduate places for 2013 entry.
A further 2,011 applications for postgraduate teacher training were also received, adding up to a total figure of 19,791. The university said the figure was likely to rise to around 22,000 by the end of the cycle, which would be a new record for Edge Hill – bucking the national trend.
Despite the higher education sector seeing an increase of 3.5% in applications for 2013 courses – according to figures released by UCAS – the number of applications nationally has failed to bounce back to pre-£9,000 tuition fee levels.
Edge Hill’s figures have shown that applications for its humanities and social sciences, management and law programmes were up by 10.81% as at January 15. While applications to nursing, health and social work programmes were up by 7.60%.
Applications for secondary teacher training were up by 14.6%, and for early years training by 6.2%, but there was a decline in the record numbers applying to be primary teachers.
Last Thursday, Edge Hill was granted planning approval to revamp the eastern part of its campus, creating 129 new student homes and a lake. The scheme – in an area that currently houses an outdoor football pitch – is now set to be completed in time for the next academic year.
It will see five three-storey blocks built on the St Helens Road campus as well as a new lake with footbridge and landscaping.
As it stands the university campus has a shortfall of 572 to meet its existing first year demand.
The current scheme – along with plans passed through last month for 144 more student homes – would reduce the shortfall to 273.
Ahead of the meeting, a spokesman for the university said: “This application relates to the completion of the Chancellors' Court development and was submitted at the same time as Phase 7 [for 144 new homes], which was considered and approved by the planning committee in January.
“The additional 129 bedrooms will accommodate both first years and senior students and, with stable intake numbers, further help to ease pressure on the housing market locally.
“It also incorporates a second lake which will both deal with surface water run-off and provide an aesthetically attractive and bio-diverse environment.”