The release shows UK applicants are down 4% and EU applicants down 5%. The figures show a similar pattern to the January deadline applicant numbers released in February this year.
Responding to the publication of the figures, Dame Julia Goodfellow, President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kent, said: "These figures confirm what we know already from UCAS about application figures for this year. There are several possible reasons behind the drop in numbers. Last year was a record high for applications and, factors such as Brexit and changes to the way degrees in nursing, midwifery and some other allied health professions in England are funded, could also be having an impact. There has also been a fall in the number of 18 and 19 year olds across the UK population since 2010. This group makes up over half of all UK applicants to universities. The rate of applications from this age group, however, is at record levels, highlighting continued demand for university courses.
"We recognise there are a number of issues to address. Continuing to communicate to European applicants that they are welcome and enrich our education system is important. The decline in part-time and mature student entrants must also be addressed. We recognise also the concern about the total cost of going to university. Any analysis needs to cover the cost of maintenance and the interest rate on the loans."