South Shropshire MP Philip Dunne has welcomed latest UCAS data showing university application rates for 18-year-olds remain at record levels.
The proportion of disadvantaged students applying for university is also at a record high, with 22.6 per cent of disadvantaged English 18-year-olds having applied to university courses by the UCAS deadline in January.
This follows statistics released last week which showed a record proportion of state school pupils are going both to university, and to highly selective universities. 77 per cent of young entrants to Russell Group institutions in England were from state schools, and 90 per cent of young entrants to university more broadly came from state schools.
In South Shropshire, 34 per cent of 18-year-olds applied for university by January 2018, compared with 32 per cent in 2009.
Mr Dunne said: “This is encouraging news, showing the work of this Government to ensure more young people have the opportunity to make the most their talents is paying off.
“We must ensure that everyone has the ability to go as far as their potential will take them. There is more to do, but with the proportion of disadvantaged 18-year-olds applying to university at record levels, we are making really important progress.’
“Of course University is not for everyone, so I am pleased the Government is also investing in apprenticeships and technical qualifications, so all young people are able to get on in life.”
To ensure university courses offer good value for money, the Government has announced a major review of student financing, frozen the tuition fee cap and raised the repayment threshold to £25,000, saving graduates up to £360 per year from this April.