Figure 1 and Table 1a show the forecast number of student entrants, by domicile, against outturn, and Table 1b the equivalent annual growth rates, also against projected growth in the 18-year-old population in England.
In the academic years following, both student and provider behavioural changes affecting England-domiciled student entrants are believed to increase the total number of entrants previously expected, with this outweighing decline in EU-domiciled student entrants
Outturn HESA data showed that in there were more England- and EU-domiciled student entrants than previously anticipated. The changes to A-Level exams in 2020 and subsequent removal of student number controls led to higher estimates of both England- and EU-domiciled student entrants in .
There are a few key drivers of growth for England-domiciled student entrants (which are forecast to grow 9.8% from to ). First, projected growth in the 18-year-old population in England, which is estimated to be 12.8% over the same period. Third, HE policy changes, such as the removal of student finance for EU nationals, which is expected to result in additional capacity for providers to increase offer rates to domestic (as well as non-EU overseas) students.
Second, increased participation rates among students (particularly of 18-year-olds) as a result of impacts of Covid-19 to the economy and labour market
As highlighted, the removal of student finance for EU nationals is expected to result in a /22). The forecast is held constant from due to the uncertainty of how EU students will respond to this change over time. There will remain a small portion of EU-domiciled student entrants eligible for tuition fee loans, such as those eligible under Citizens’ Rights or as one of the specific eligible groups online payday LA. However, this portion is estimated to be so small (around 6% of the total in , diminishing each academic year following) that it has little impact on the growth in fee loan-eligible entrants. Further information on loan eligibility and for home fee status for the Academic Year is available at: New eligibility rules for home fee status and student finance for the 2021 to 2022 academic year (publishing.service.gov.uk).
Figure 2 and Table 2a present the forecast number of tuition fee loan-eligible entrants, by domicile and whether nursing, midwifery and AHP, and Table 2b the equivalent annual growth rates.
The factors discussed for student entrants have a knock-on impact to fee loan-eligible entrants. For those exclusive of nursing, midwifery and AHP entrants, however, from onwards, the removal of student finance for EU nationals outweighs the positive changes seen, as naturally the reductions in EU-domiciled fee loan-eligible entrants will be higher than for student entrants. As well as those impacts discussed, total fee loan-eligible entrants inclusive of nursing, midwifery and AHP have declined compared to the previous publication due to downward revisions to nursing, midwifery and AHP forecast entrants to better align to the population eligible for tuition fee loans from SFE.
Overall, full-time undergraduate fee loan-eligible entrants, inclusive of nursing, midwifery and AHP, are forecast to grow 5.9% between and , with the majority of growth expected up to . Although total student entrants are forecast to grow 4.0% in , total fee loan eligible-entrants are forecast to decline 0.2% due to the vast majority of EU-domiciled student entrants being ineligible for student finance (resulting in a 93.6% reduction in EU-domiciled fee loan-eligible entrants, which outweighs the growth in other fee loan-eligible entrants). Thereafter, total growth in fee loan-eligible entrants is much closer to that of total student entrants because the reductions in EU-domiciled fee loan-eligible entrants are much less, both in relative and proportionate terms.