UK universities are seeing a rise in applications ahead of the major tuition fee hike planned by the government.
According to data published by the Universities and Colleges Admission Service, the number of applications filed before Christmas was up 2.5% in 2010 compared to a year before.
Figures show applications to study subjects such as dentistry, engineering, veterinary science and the sciences have all increased so far this year.
Courses allied to medicine, such as nursing, midwifery, pathology and radiography, soared by almost a fifth in the four months leading up to Christmas – quicker than any other subject area.
The upcoming academic year will see a total of 335,795 people applying for university positions, all seeking to gain entry ahead of the forthcoming doubling or tripling of tuition rates set to begin in the autumn of 2012.
Following the news, experts have said that competition is expected to be heavy once again as this year will see an additional 8,000 applicants competing for the same number of spots that had been available a year earlier.
Figures published show that October of 2010 had seen a rise in applications of just 5%, however that number quadrupled to 20% in November.
Despite the rise, those in the under-18 age group submitted 2,000 fewer applications this year whereas more applications came from age groups over the age of 20.
There was a 3.5% rise in the number of students applying for positions in dentistry and medicine while the number of law applicants saw a slightly smaller increase at 2.9%.