Council of Deans of Health. Briefing: UCAS end of cycle data 2023. https// (accessed 9 April 2024)

University and Colleges Admissions Service. UCAS undergraduate end of cycle data resources 2023. 2023. https// (accessed 9 April 2024)

Trends in nursing applications

18 April 2024
Volume 33 · Issue 8

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) data for 2023 shows a mix of trends in the UK's higher education nursing sector (Council of Deans of Health, 2023; UCAS, 2023). A total of 48 625 students applied for nursing courses, reflecting a complex picture of fluctuating interest post pandemic. Although there has been a 13.4% decrease from the heightened numbers witnessed in the pandemic, it is notable that these figures remain 9.7% above pre-pandemic levels. This suggests a sustained, if somewhat moderated, interest in nursing as a career.

Last year saw a significant increase in the number of applications to all university courses by individuals disclosing a mental health condition, with the figure reaching 36 000, a substantial rise from 22 000 the previous year (an increase of 63.6%) and more than double the 16 000 reported in 2019.

Some 26 330 applicants were accepted onto undergraduate nursing courses, marking a 10.6% decrease from the previous year. Despite this decline, the proportion of accepted applicants has increased to 54.1%, indicating a more competitive landscape and perhaps a higher calibre of applicants. The distribution of acceptances across different types of institutions varied, with lower tariff providers accepting 15 025 students, medium tariff providers accepting 8795, and higher tariff providers taking in 2510 students.

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