Engineering, technology and computer science related degrees have seen the greatest rise in UCAS applicants this year, according to new figures.
The ‘Engineering’ subject group saw an 11 per cent increase in applications this year compared to 2013 to nearly 150,000, according to figures released today by the UK’s university admission service, while the ‘Computer Sciences’ group saw a rise of 13 per cent to break the 100,000 mark and ‘Technologies’ rose 15 per cent to just over 10,000.
The three subject groups topped the percentage increase table for applications up to this year's March 24 deadline, with the next closest being ‘Mass Communications and Documentation’ with 9 per cent, followed by ‘Biological Sciences’ on 8 per cent. The biggest losers were ‘European’ and ‘Non-European’ languages posting -5 and -6 per cent respectively.
Stephanie Fernandes, Institution of Engineering and Technology Education & Skills Policy Advisor, said: “The UCAS figures show very welcome increases in university application figures for Engineering, Computer Sciences and Technologies courses.
"With engineering companies projected to have 2.74 million job openings between 2010 and 2020, there is an urgent need to encourage many more young people into engineering to meet demand.
“We hope that this rise will continue over time, and, along with the many other initiatives, will help to fill the skills void facing the engineering sector.”
Engineering is now the sixth most popular subject group with 148,950 applicants, behind medicine with 381,050, business and administration studies with 301,080, creative arts and design with 258,870, biological studies with 241,680 and social studies with 214,730.
The computer sciences subject group is in ninth place with 103,590 while technologies is second from bottom with 10,290, ahead of non-European languages on 5,620.
Philip Greenish, chief executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering said: “The UK market is in serious need of graduates with skills that employers need now and in the future.
“It is good to see such a positive increase in the number of students applying to engineering and technology-related degrees. Universities must now respond by ensuring they have the capacity to meet this student demand.
“Analysis carried out by the Academy shows that the UK industry will need over 100,000 science and engineering professionals every year by 2020 to replace an ageing workforce and allow for predicted growth and demand for engineers across the economy.”