The number of mature (aged 21 or over) UK-domiciled students starting full-time first degrees has steadily increased over the past decade. It rose to 70,215 in 2015-16, which was an increase of 2.9 per cent on the previous year.
However, the number of mature part-time entrants in 2015-16 fell slightly by 1.0 per cent compared with the previous year. The sharp declines that followed the introduction of higher tuition fees appear to have ended, but there were 19,000 fewer mature part-time entrants in 2015-16 than in 2010-11.
Mature students are much more likely to leave after one year of a first degree than young students.
The non-continuation rate for full-time mature UK-domiciled students was 11.3 per cent for entrants in 2014-15, compared with 6.3 per cent for young students.