THE NUMBER of students from Hastings and St Leonards opting for a university education is rising year on year.
Youngsters from the two towns collectively sent 641 applications to UCAS in 2008, a figure which leapt to 768 the following year and 868 in 2010.
This year the figure is expected to jump higher again, as students rush to beat a tuition fee hike that sees fees soar up to £9,000 from September 2012.
By June 30, months ahead of the September 20 deadline, UCAS had already received 809 applications from Hastings and St Leonards.
The most popular subject choice by far in each year was creative arts and design, which consistently recorded double the number of applications for the next most popular courses: business studies, subjects linked to medicine and biological sciences.
Technologies was the least popular subject category last year, attracting just 12 students from across East Sussex.