THE report Patterns and Trends in UK Higher Education (Universities UK), shows that in 2016-17 there were 1,012,425 entrants to higher education institutions in the UK; 56,400 fewer than in 2007-08. However, total student numbers have fluctuated over the period across different types of study, with record numbers of full-time undergraduates and postgraduates in 2016-17.
To better understand how student subject choices have changed over the past decade, global training providers and further education advocates, theknowledgeacademy.com analysed Universities UK’s latest report in detail, with a view to forecast the subjects that may be of interest to learners in 2019.
The Knowledge Academy found, between 2007-08 and 2016-17, changing student demand has been reflected in the courses universities offer.
In terms of student numbers, agricultural courses have seen a five per cent increase while significant increases have also been seen in Veterinary Science, Biological Sciences and Mathematical Sciences in the period 2007-08 to 2016-17 (47%, 40% and 29% respectively.) Veterinary Science has achieved the most notable change, growing from 4,850 students in 2007-08 to 7,145 students in 2016-17; an increase of 47%.
Comparably, student numbers in Combined Subjects, Education and Languages have seen significant decreases in the period 2007-08 to 2016-17 (-67%, -26% and -21% respectively.) Combined Subjects have suffered the most notable change, falling from 118,300 students in 2007-08 to 38,640 students in 2016-17; a decline of -67%.
Subjects with the highest student numbers in 2016-17 included Business and Administrative Studies (333,075 students in 2016-17), representing a change of 7%, followed by Subjects Allied to Medicine (290,770 students in 2016-17; 1% change) and Biological Sciences (226,370 students in 2016-17; 40% change.)