The number of students applying to study mathematics-related subjects has suffered the biggest drop in nine years, UCAS data have shown.
In 2019, 46,140 students applied to study mathematics subjects such as statistics, compared with 51,170 in 2018. It is the sharpest fall for mathematics subjects across the data set, which started in 2010. Applicant numbers for engineering also fell slightly, dropping by 840 to 160,830. However, more students applied for medicine and dentistry, biological sciences, physical sciences and computer sciences than in 2018.
The fall in applications for mathematics courses comes despite widespread efforts to improve the take-up of science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects to improve the UK’s skills base.