26th August Journal Column

Web-LogoBy Catriona Lingwood, Chief Executive of Constructing Excellence in the North East

Last week was A-level results day, and I’m pleased to say that the number of students being accepted on architecture, planning and building courses now stands at the highest it’s been in the past five years.

According to UCAS figures, UK universities handed places to 6,670 students who were looking to study architecture and building associated courses from September, an increase on last year’s 6,430 applicants.

Those that had applied for architecture related courses rose two per cent from last year to 43,600 – that’s over 43,000 young people showing a keen interest in building related subjects, we can’t ask for much more than that, can we?

Students from England make up almost two-thirds of this year’s student cohort – an increase of seven per cent on last year.  And whilst that percentage might not seem like a lot to some, any increase is positive news for the industry in my eyes. For a long time, we’ve wanted to encourage more young people into the industry, and to see that more people are interested in industry related subjects each year is amazing news.

It’s not just England that are seeing an increase in applicants and interest, a further 310 placed students are from Northern Ireland, a 12 per cent rise on last year and Scottish applicants increased by 13 per cent too. The number of applicants from Wales didn’t change, but as long as the number isn’t decreasing, there’s no cause for concern.

A total of 530 successful applicants were from European Union countries outside of the UK, no change from 2015, but the number of students accepted from outside the EU has fallen 14 per cent to 830- not surprising given the uncertainty of the UK’s relationship with the EU in the near future.

Applications from women were up two per cent to 17,640- more than male applications, which grew by one per cent to 25,970. And although applications are still dominated by males, women are quickly catching up.

There’s been a lot of work over the years to encourage women and young people into the industry, and these statistics show that all of our hard work has been worthwhile- it’s finally starting to pay off.

The final numbers for this year are likely to change as more students get places through the clearing process, so we should hopefully see an even further increase in figures. But I for one am more than happy with how they stand now, it gives me hope and promise for the future of the industry knowing there are so many young people showing an interest in our industry. Young people hold the future of our industry in their hands and the more hands, the better!