Posted 31 March 2006
Harper Adams University College is hitting back at claims of falling numbers under the new fee system – due to be introduced in September.
Concerns have been raised that the new system, coupled with many problems in the land-based industry, will result in a fall in student numbers.
But the Shropshire-based university college is questioning these claims and has evidence which contradicts the pessimists.
Commenting on the concerns, Richard Jopling, Head of Recruitment at the university college, said: “Our potential recruitment for September 2006 has never looked better in all our 105 year history.
“The official figures from UCAS put us a good 6 per cent higher than this time last year and last year was a particularly good year.”
And Mr Jopling takes a positive view of the future, adding that students do not seem to be put off applying to university by the prospect of paying more fees.
“I keep reading these gloomy prognoses but the truth is that the new fee arrangements are not affecting the situation as much as everybody had anticipated.
“Here at Harper Adams we estimate that over 70 per cent of our students will actually be better off under the new system than they were on the old,” he added.
But Mr Jopling adds a note of caution that the whole rural and land-based sector is thriving under the new arrangements.
“The pattern for applications is mixed and some institutions are worse affected than others.
“I can think of one particular institution where their applications are down by over 21 per cent, so as in life, there will be winners and losers.”
As part of the ongoing commitment to the university college’s incredibly strong position in student recruitment, it also makes sure students will benefit from good jobs at the end of their courses.
The University College Principal, Professor Wynne Jones, can confirm good job prospects for Harper Adams’ graduates: “We have an outstanding record as regards the employment of our graduates. The latest statistics from the official body that scrutinises the employment of university graduates( HESA) records that 96.8 per cent of our graduates find good employment within six months of leaving Harper Adams. These days it is more important than ever before for prospective students to seize the opportunity and to become well qualified in their chosen career area.”