Students won’t see a profusion of EU universities appearing on the UCAS university application database this year, despite being included for the first time.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) recently amended its policies to consider requests from European higher education providers wishing to use its services. They will now be accepted if they “demonstrate that they meet equivalent standards to those in the UK”.

But an UCAS spokesperson told Schools Week that it was “too early” to say how many EU higher education providers would apply to join the service, and that schools preparing current year 12 students for university applications would not see many EU providers on its database.

He confirmed that Amsterdam Fashion Academy was the only EU institution currently using the service, with few further applications expected before the June deadline.

“The higher education environment has changed significantly in the past few years with the intention of giving students more choice,” he said. “With more choice in the market there is a need to ensure that student interests are protected.

“We want students who apply for courses through UCAS to be confident that they are applying for a verified qualification at an institution that meets the relevant quality standards. As a consequence, we have reviewed the criteria for access to UCAS services to ensure that they are fit for purpose in this changing environment.

“Amsterdam Fashion Academy is the first EU university to use the admissions service, although our course search has included a variety of transnational educational opportunities offered by UK higher education providers for some time.

“UCAS considers a number of requests from higher education providers each year and those who are successful go on to use the UCAS course search and admissions service. We do not disclose details of requests under consideration.”