Students in Engineering and Technology Have Grown 18% in the Last Decade

  • Veterinary Science has seen the most significant increase in the past decade.
  • Combined Subjects has seen the most significant decrease in the past decade.
  • In 2016-17, there were 1,012,425 entrants to higher education institutions in the UK.
  • Business and Administrative Studies saw the highest student participation rate in 2016-17 (333,075.)

Per the report Patterns and Trends in UK Higher Education (Universities UK), 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 last decade, global training providers and further education advocates, 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, significant increases have 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.)


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