The continuing economic crisis in the United Kingdom has created a new crisis in higher education as the number of those applying to enter colleges surges to new highs. University applicants were informed that due to a 10% rise in applications this year, there are currently 50,000 fewer spaces to accomodate those seeking a place at a university this fall. There are 52,000 more people applying, but the government has only allocated enough money to fill 3,000 more spaces in colleges. The most significant rise in student applications were in the areas of nursing, engineering, and courses combining sciences and languages. The cap on enrollment followed discovery of a $350,000,000 gap in university budgets.
The reality is whenever caps are set, those with money find the means to get around the cap and enter a college. Reality, as always, is that those from poorer families will be the ones who never get into college this year, and, next year does not look much brighter.
At a time when banks and stock brokers get billions of dollars to shore up their organizations it is difficult to explain why a few hundred million is not available for those seeking a university education. Perhaps, colleges should convert themselves in stock brokerage houses and ask for a bailout.