Over 461,000 UCAS applicants from the EU and UK are beginning UK degree courses in 2014-15.
Posted Wed 15 October 2014 - 08:46

Over 461,000 UCAS applicants from the EU and UK are beginning UK degree courses in 2014-15, a four per cent increase on last year.

A UCAS report published today (23 September 2014) gives an interim assessment (four weeks after A Level results) of accepted students by their intended year of entry, country of institution and qualifications held.

This ‘entry year’ figure strips out ‘gap year’ students who have deferred entry to 2015-16, but does include those starting this year after being accepted for deferred entry last time round.

UK and EU acceptances at this point are 461,510 (+4%), while the recruitment total of 499,730 (including over 38,000 international students) is an increase of 18,600 (+4%) compared to the same point last year.

Acceptances are up for universities and colleges in all four UK countries with percentage increases of between two and four per cent.

There is an eight per cent rise in the number of EU students starting degree courses in England this year (+1,500) as well as increases in the number of Welsh-domiciled students (+660, +9%) to England, and almost 500 more English students taking up places in Scotland (+11%). These major flows between UK countries are shown in the  UCAS map showing movement of students between UK countries.

UK and EU students set to begin courses in England covered by the main government number controls have increased by 9,820 (+3%).

On these courses, the numbers holding BTEC equivalents of the ‘ABB+’ grade profile have increased by 16 per cent, whereas those holding A Levels with grades of ‘ABB+’ have fallen by three per cent. This means the share of the higher-grade group holding vocational qualifications is at its highest level, continuing the trend of recent annual increases.

Mary Curnock Cook, UCAS’ Chief Executive said: “Alongside rising student recruitment in all UK countries, there is increased fluidity between them and a significant increase in students from the EU choosing to study in Britain.

“While A levels are tracking the young population down, it is hard to ignore the increasing importance of vocational qualifications such as BTECs in these data. I would urge policy makers to consider ways to increase participation in A levels as the exam reforms take shape.”

Typically a further 10,000 or so further recruits will be recorded by UCAS before the 2014 cycle closes.

The full Interim assessment of UCAS acceptances by intended entry year, country of institution, and qualifications held report, along with the full data tables and an infographic can be downloaded from the Analysis reports section of the UCAS website.




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The large majority (typically around 98 per cent) of recruitment is recorded at this reference point, four weeks after A level results.

The deadline for universities and colleges to accept Clearing applicants is 22 October 2014.

The final End of Cycle report will be published in December 2014.

UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, is a charity and the UK's shared admissions service for higher education. We manage applications from over 650,000 people each year for full-time undergraduate courses at over 350 institutions across the UK.

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