NUS is concerned by the comments of David Eastwood, cheif executive of HEFCE, stating that "at this stage" there will be no allocations of additional student places until 2011.
In his letter to universities the chief executive said that no additional student places would be available next year as the 10,000 extra already promised had been filled.
“NUS is very concerned that the university places of many qualified and eligible applicants will be put in jeopardy as a result of this cap on additional student numbers. Students and potential students should not be left in the lurch as a result of poor departmental budgeting,” says NUS President Wes Streeting.
“After years of being encouraged to widen participation through increased student numbers, universities are now instead being warned that their future funding will be jeopardised by increases in student numbers. These mixed messages will inevitably result in widespread confusion.
“This decision could have the most severe impact on non-traditional students who tend to apply at a later stage in the admissions cycle and are also precisely those who must be encouraged into higher education if the Government’s 50 per cent participation target is to be met.”