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Civil engineering degrees see further decline in student numbers

EFFORTS TO halt plunging numbers of students choosing civil engineering degrees are making little impact, according to the latest university admissions figures published this week.

The University & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) has confirmed a further decline in acceptances to civil engineering courses in 2001.

Its figures show that civil engineering continued to buck the upward trend in the number of people being accepted on to degree courses (NCE 13 September 2001).

The number of acceptances on to civil engineering courses fell a further 5.3% last year, while the overall number of students taking up university and college places hit record levels.

More than 358,000 people were accepted on to full-time undergraduate courses last year - up 5.4% on 2000. Education degrees saw the biggest increase - up 43.2% on the year before.

The number of students applying for and accepting places on civil engineering courses has been steadily declining for several years. In the last five years applications have fallen 32% and acceptances 29%.

'It is a depressingly worrying trend, ' said ICE vice president Adrian Long. Long, whose remit at the ICE is to investigate the skills shortage, added: 'Young people are not aware of what civil engineering is, or indeed that a civil engineering degree is a valuable, numerate degree for many other professions.'

Mark Hansford INFOPLUS www. ucas. ac. uk

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