Close working with NGO’s is the only way to increase university applications.

January 05, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
By 2010, the government wants to have 50% of young people in higher education. A tough target but one, which will only be achieved with closer links to business and non-government organisations.

Bill Rammell, the Higher Education Minister said in a newspaper interview with 'The Independent' that he expected to see a fall in applications to university this year but that he was "confident [of a] long term increase". Blamed mainly on the government’s introduction of top-up fees for all university students, the drop is similar to that in 1998 when tuition fees were first introduced.

Such drops in numbers are not helped by the business style attitude of universities and higher education colleges that has made it harder for prospective students to obtain the information they require without being handed satisfaction questionnaires and added to mailing lists.

Students such as Mark Smith (names changed to protect identity) are already resisting the government’s attempts to convert them to higher education. A lifeguard at a local swimming pool in his home city of Manchester, Smith is intending to work for a further year after deferring in 2004 to take advantage of the reduced tuition fees available to his peers. "Working has allowed me to meet new people and earn money at the same time. University means I effectively pay £3000 a year for meeting new people."

The answer to such problems one organisation believes is better access to information. John Salvador of - a university prospectus request service - believes he has the answer. " is a free service run by students for students. It allows students to request multiple prospectuses from different institutions all through our website". But besides pitching his website to a wide audience, Salvador has a deeper message. "The government needs to work closer with a non-government organisations and businesses alike such as AimHigher to have any chance of meeting its targets."

With four years to go, it remains to be seen if the government will reach its target, but it is clear that to do this, more business links and better business links will be needed. is a free prospectus request service for students in the United Kingdom.

End Press Release