There has been a decline in nursing applicants across all age groups and within each UK nation for 2023-24, data published by UCAS reveals.
As of the January deadline, figures showed a 18.6% decrease in the number of nursing applications compared with last year. However, the number of applications exceeds the number of acceptances seen in last year’s cycle, showing there is still plenty of demand for places.
The number of UK mature applicants has also fallen compared to last year (-14%), mostly due to a decrease in nursing course demand.
Of the four UK countries, Scotland has seen the biggest decrease in the number of applicants compared to last year at 24%. UCAS said that 5070 people had applied to study nursing in Scotland this year, compared with 6690 in 2022. Applications fell by 18% in England, 17% in Northern Ireland and 22% in Wales.
While these declining figures reflect the situation for nursing courses, UCAS highlights that the number of UK 18-year-olds applying to an undergraduate course this year is the second highest on record.
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