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Applicant numbers to ‘early deadline’ university courses increase by 1%, UCAS figures reveal today

Today UCAS publishes its first statistical release of the 2017 undergraduate cycle, detailing applicant numbers for higher education courses with an early October deadline only.
Posted Wed 26 October 2016 - 11:04

15 October is the annual deadline for medicine, dentistry, and veterinary degrees, as well as for all courses at the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford.

The total number of applicants to 15 October deadline courses is 57,190 – an increase of 1% on last year (+560 people). This is in line with the typical numbers applying in recent cycles; between 56k and 58k people.

Other key findings

The number of applicants from the UK to this deadline has risen by 3% (+1,110 people) to 39,440 this cycle.

There is strong growth in demand from 18 year olds in England (+8%) and Wales (+7%), with nearly 2,000 more people submitting applications despite the young population falling again this year by around 2%.

First-time applicants to this deadline are up 2% to 51,800 while the number of students re-applying has fallen by 8% to 5,390, consistent with the high acceptance rates last cycle. 

EU applicants

Applicants from the EU to this deadline have fallen by 9% (-620 people) to 6,240, ending a trend of annual increases over recent years. EU applicant numbers for this 2017 entry cycle are close to where they were for the 2015 cycle, reversing the 8% increase seen in the previous (2016) cycle.

Applicant numbers from outside the EU have increased by a similar amount as last year, 1%, to 11,510 people.

Medicine applicants

There are 19,210 applicants to medicine courses in total, 4% fewer (-890 people) than last year and continuing a series of annual declines which began in 2014.

However, 18-year-old English applicants to medicine have increased by 5% (+310 applicants), supported by increases in 19-year-olds applying for the first time.

Typically, only 10% of eventual applicants apply by this stage so the full picture of demand for UK higher education, including from EU students, will only be clear after the main January deadline.

Mary Curnock Cook, UCAS Chief Executive, said: “This is an encouraging increase in applicants to the October deadline courses, particularly given the 2% decrease in the 18 year old population. 

“We will be watching the numbers of EU applications in the run up to the January deadline, especially now that the Government has confirmed arrangements for continuing access to student loans for 2017 courses.” 

Students have been able to submit applications for all 2017 courses from early September this year.

This release covers only applicants applying to courses with a 15 October deadline and is a near complete measure of the demand for these courses.

15 January next year is the deadline for most courses. UCAS publishes these applicant figures on 2 February.


Notes to editors

Applicants to courses in Northern Ireland are not shown separately in the tables to avoid disclosing figures for individual universities before the admissions cycle has closed.

Application and acceptance figures for all courses and universities in the UCAS Undergraduate scheme are published after each cycle closes, between December and January.

Explore the current End of Cycle tables (from 2007-2015) .

View our timetable of data and analysis covering UCAS’ analytical programme for the 2017 cycle .


About UCAS

UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, is a charity and the UK’s shared admissions service for higher education. We manage applications from around 700,000 applicants each year for full-time undergraduate courses at around 380 universities and colleges across the UK. 

Media contacts

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