A record percentage of young people are off to university

Students in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland receiving their exam results will find out today if they are going to university or college.
Posted Thu 16 August 2018 - 08:00

As of 08:00 this morning, applicants can sign in to UCAS Track to see if their place has been confirmed.

In England, a record 27.9 per cent of the 18 year old population have been accepted through UCAS. In Wales 26.3 per cent of young people will be starting an undergraduate course, also a record. In Northern Ireland, the entry rate is 28.1 per cent. Scottish students received their exam results last week, and 25.9 per cent of all 18 year olds have now been accepted.

In total, more than 353,960 people from across the UK have been accepted so far this year – a 2 per cent decrease compared to A level results day 2017.

A total of 411,860 have been placed on an undergraduate course, so far. This is a 1 per cent decrease on A level results day last year, although comes alongside a 2.5% drop in the number of 18 year olds in the UK population. Of those accepted, 88% will be studying their first choice course.

A record 16.1% of people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds have been accepted, a rise of 0.4 percentage points on 2017. However, the gap between the most and least advantaged groups remains the same as last year.

26,400 EU students have been accepted to study in the UK (an increase of 1 per cent on A level results day 2017), alongside a record 31,510 students from outside the EU (an increase of 4 per cent).

A full set of statistical reports is now available in the data and analysis section of the UCAS website, alongside interactive data explorers which allow users to visualise and tailor the reporting. Updates will be published each working day, until Friday 31 August.

Anyone who is interested in going to university this year should use the new UCAS Clearing hub, the official place to search for courses with spaces. It’s important for applicants to call universities directly to discuss their applications, before adding a choice in Track. A Clearing choice can be added from 15:00 this afternoon.

Last year, 66,865 people were accepted through Clearing, with 16,950 of those applying with their results and submitting their applications directly into Clearing.

Clare Marchant, UCAS Chief Executive, said: ‘Congratulations to everyone celebrating today. It’s time to look forward to the next few years, a journey that’ll be full of rewarding study, independence, and new friends. 

‘The increase we’re seeing in the proportion of young people placed from disadvantaged backgrounds is excellent news.

‘However, the continuing gap between the most and least advantaged is frustrating, and we’ll keep on working with universities to help them evaluate their outreach activities to impact the most disadvantaged students.

‘The encouraging growth in international students choosing to study in the UK is testament to the welcome of our world class universities.

‘I’d advise anyone thinking about securing a place through Clearing to take some time to visit universities and colleges in the next few days. This weekend’s open days are listed on the UCAS website. Seeing everything in person can help you make the right decision.

‘If you decide your next step isn’t a degree though, information on apprenticeships, gap years, and career options is also available on ucas.com.’

ENDS


Notes to editors

UCAS advisers are ready to guide applicants through the Clearing process on Twitter and Facebook. Experts are also available on the phone – the number for applicants to call is 0371 468 0 468.

Anyone who needs wider advice about all the opportunities they can explore, can call the Exam Results Helpline for free, impartial advice, on 0800 100 900 from 08:00 on Thursday 16 August.

UCAS uses the Office of National Statistics’ mid-year population estimates and apportions the estimates to school cohorts (rather than age at mid-year). Estimates of 15 year olds (apportioned to school cohorts) are used as the basis for this estimate, and aged forward to avoid inaccuracies that can relate from varying numbers of non-UK domiciled 18 year olds being resident at age 18 (for example, international students).

Today’s statistics are taken as of 00:05 on Thursday 16 August 2018, A level results day, and compared to the equivalent day in 2017. Our daily Clearing analysis will be published each working day until Friday 31 August. Final end of cycle analysis will be published later this year.

About UCAS

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

 

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