UK: Gap years in decline as university fees rise

Gap-year companies are experiencing a drop in the number of school-leavers applying for places, as increased tuition fees next year makes it more prudent for them to go to university, writes Richard Garner for The Independent.

Many are opting to forgo the chance of spending a carefree year abroad in favour of beating fees rises of up to £9,000 (US$14,655) a year, which come into effect in September 2012. However, the effect on gap-year companies is likely to be mitigated by an influx of older graduates, who have searched for jobs in vain and are now turning to volunteering to boost their CVs.

Projects Abroad, which places around 8,000 volunteers a year, said it had noticed a 10% drop in applications in February. However, not all gap-year providers are experiencing the same problem. Raleigh, another major player in the market, said i-applications from school leavers soared by 50% this year.
Full report on the Independent site