University applications – which subjects are up and down

More UK students are going to university than ever before, according to the latest Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) figures.

Over 1.3 million students were enrolled in undergraduate degrees in 2009/10. This was the highest increase in the last 5 years (4.9% since 08/09 or 11.3% since 05/06). The increase in Postgraduate students has almost double year on year from 234,210 in 2005/06 to just under 300,000 in 2010/11, or 27.3% in 5 years.

We’ve mapped the numbers by year and subject – you can explore it here:

It appears that sciences are becoming popular again. For undergraduate degrees, Mathematical sciences recorded the biggest percentage increase on the previous year as 26,225 students opted for the subject in 2009/10 – a 26.3% increase on 2005/06 and 7.9% from the previous year.

Business & administrative studies, mass communication & documentation and engineering & technology saw the biggest rises after mathematical sciences for full-time undergraduate students.

Business & administrative studies remains the most popular subject (21% and 13.3% of undergraduate and postgraduate students respectively). Subjects allied to medicine and Creative arts follow closely in popularity.


Which country does best at reading, maths and science?

The world education rankings from the OECD are out. The UK is slipping down in maths, reading and science, and has been overtaken by Poland and Norway.

China topped the league in all subjects. The UK is ranked 25th for reading, 28th for maths and 16th for science.

We have used Tableau in our analysis. To get the most of this insight click on the visualisation below to bring the data to life. Click on countries, values and/or basically anything you find interesting and watch how the visualisations update automatically.