The number of 18-year-olds applying to study engineering courses at university this autumn has gone up by almost 9% compared to last year, according to official statistics published today.
The report by Ucas looks at the demand for university courses based on applications made by 24 March 2013, and compares the figures from previous years.
The report shows that the number of teenagers applying to study engineering courses has gone up by 8.6%, while the number of pupils applying to study physical sciences has gone up by 14.9%.
More students also chose to study maths and computer science, with the number of applications up by 5.4% compared to last year.
The increase will come as welcome news for the UK's engineering sector which is projected to need thousands of skilled engineers over the next few years to grow the economy and replace the retiring workforce.
Earlier in the year Ucas figures revealed that the overall demand for higher education in UK remains high, with a 3% increase in the number of total applications for 2013/2014.
Today's report looks behind this headline figure and examines demand by age, sex, advantage and disadvantage, region and ethnic group as well as the nature of demand by institution group, subject and tuition fee.
Other findings from the Ucas report:
- The report reveals a wide variation in the application rates of English pupils by ethnic group. 29% of white 18-year-olds applied to start degree courses this autumn, compared with more than 50% of those from a Chinese background and 40% for those from an Asian ethnic group.
- Gender remains one of the key factors in application rates, with women still far more likely to apply to study at university. In 2012 in England, 49% of women applied compared to 38% of young men.
- In total almost half of all young people - 44% - in England apply to go to university.
- Teenagers from the richest areas are still over four times more likely to apply to universities which ask for the highest entry grades than teenagers from the poorest areas. In 2004 they were six times more likely to apply to these institutions.
- Young people from London are the most likely group to want to study for a degree, with 42% applying this year. The North East is at the other end of the scale and at 31%.has the lowest application rate.