20 September 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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'Squeezed middle' universities fear student number fall

A ‘squeezed middle’ of English universities is expected to suffer sharp falls in student numbers this autumn, according to figures published last week, writes Jeevan Vasagar for the Guardian.

The data, published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, identify a band of 34 universities that it says will be hit by the coalition's reforms because they neither attract the best-performing students nor offer the lowest fees of £7,500 (US$11,900) or less. The universities – including Bedfordshire, the University of Central Lancashire, Leeds Met and Sheffield Hallam – are expected to suffer drops of more than 10% in undergraduate student numbers for this autumn. The steepest drop, of 12.6%, is expected to be at the University of East London.

The squeeze comes at both ends under the reforms: top universities will be allowed to recruit unlimited numbers of the highest-performing students, while a total of 20,000 places have also been stripped from higher education institutions in England and auctioned off to universities and colleges charging average fees of £7,500 or less.
Full report on the Guardian site
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