Byline: SARAH RICHARDSON
[bar] T a time when the numbers of UK students applying to start degree courses has slumped by almost 7.4 per cent, one university is bucking the national trend and reporting record levels of applications. As tuition fees almost triple to as much as [pounds sterling]9,000 per year, just over 50,000 fewer applicants have applied for university compared with the same point last year, according to UCAS.
So successful has Anglia Ruskin University been in attracting students this year, that in its bid to the Higher Education Funding Council for England for additional student numbers for September 2012 entry it has been allocated more than 550 extra places -- more than any other university in the country.
Sandra Hollis, pro vice-chancellor at Anglia Ruskin, says: "We believe that this recognises the value of our outreach work to extend access to university education in our region, including our collaborations with local FE colleges to create University Centre Harlow, University Centre Peterborough and University Centre West Anglia.
"Many of these new places will be available through the Clearing system, which is for anyone who wants to come to university in September but has yet to secure a place."
Anglia Ruskin offers more than 150 full-time undergraduate courses, ranging from animal behaviour to quantity surveying. It is constantly developing new courses to maintain its reputation for innovative style and contemporary relevance and, in the National Student Survey 2011, 100 per cent of students said they were satisfied with their experience at Anglia Ruskin in courses including child nursing, civil engineering, history, mental health nursing, ophthalmic dispensing and optometry. Hollis believes the university's popularity is due in part to its state-of-the art, modern and hi-tech facilities.
"We have invested more than [pounds sterling]81 million in the past five years in the very latest learning environments, which include a suite of forensic science laboratories, four university libraries, multimedia sound and recording studios, a human energetic sports science laboratory, a university eye clinic, simulated hospital wards and operating theatres and the Mumford Theatre," she says. …