Students beginning university in 2012 face soaring tuition fees of £9,000 a year.
According to the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS), there has been a drop of 43,473 applications from across the United Kingdom.
Data shows that the total number of applications received before 15 January 2012 have decreased by 7.4 percent compared with the same time last year.
540,073 applications have been made so far this year, whereas 583,546 applications were made last year.
Applications from students in EU countries have decreased by 11.2 percent, but there has been an increase in applicants from outside the EU of 13.7 percent.
There has been a drop in applications to universities in all nations across the UK. Universities in England have seen the largest drop in applications, by 9.9 percent.
In Northern Ireland there has been a drop of 4.4 percent, in Scotland 1.5 percent and Wales 1.9 percent.
The University of Sussex has faced the same situation, with a decrease in applications. According to figures released on 30 January: “there have been seven applications for every undergraduate place at the University of Sussex.” The university commented that: “the decrease in applications to Sussex follows on from last year’s exceptional surge, when prospective students were looking to enter university ahead of the introduction of higher fees, so some contraction was expected.”
Applications to the University of Sussex are higher than two years ago and 46 percent higher than they were three years ago.
Rob Evans, Head of Admissions at the university said: “the competition for places at Sussex has been quite high for many years, so we are expecting things this year to be much as usual.”
Whilst there has obviously been a drop in applications this year, the University of Sussex has also experienced significant increases in applications to certain subjects.
Numbers applying to study physics have more than doubled, and there has been substantial growth in mathematics, where applications have increased by 57 percent.
The numbers of applications to study English have increased by 49 percent, biology by 26 percent and psychology by 22 percent.
Even though the number of applicants has decreased overall, the number of applications to the University of Sussex from outside of the EU has risen by more than 30 percent.
These non-EU students receive no funding support from the British government.
In order to ensure the university continues to attract high numbers of students, a series of events for prospective students to discover the university have been organised. Events like Undergraduate Open Days give prospective students a chance to hear subject talks from all schools of study. Student Recruitment Services also run guided campus tours, which take place most Wednesdays and Fridays year-round. Tours begin at 1.30pm and take approximately one and a half hours.