This year, 19% more 18 year olds in the UK have gained a place at their firm or insurance choice compared to 2019, following the return to examinations.
Posted Thu 18 August 2022 - 08:00

Today, 425,830 students are celebrating being accepted into university or college, the second highest on record – an increase of 16,870 compared to 2019 (the last year examinations were held). This is 2% lower than the highest level seen in 2021, where students were awarded places based on teacher assessed grades. 

The graph below illustrates the changes in the number of accepted applicants over the last decade. 

UCAS applicant statuses over the last decade

Note: Comparison is results day across each year. 2020 data is before the switch to centre assessed grades.

46,850 students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds have been accepted, an increase of 3,770 on 2019. This means that the gap between the most and least advantaged has narrowed from 2.36 in 2019 to 2.29 in 2022, and from 2.34 in 2021. 

This year has also seen the first T Level students gain a place in higher education, with 370 (71% of applicants) accepted.

International placed students account for 12.3% of the total full-time undergraduate applicants accepted via UCAS, down from a high of 14.7% in 2019. 2022 has seen continued growth from nations such as China (+35%), India (+27%), and Nigeria (+43%).

All of today’s data can be explored in an interactive dashboard and downloaded from the UCAS website.

Explore our interactive dashboard

For the 20,360 who found out today they do not have a place (down from 24,260 in 2019), but are still keen to start an undergraduate course, UCAS’ personalised Clearing Plus service will help match them to the right course. There are also 3,700 apprenticeships and jobs, including 500 higher and degree apprenticeships, available on

UCAS Chief Executive Clare Marchant said: “Congratulations to everyone who has worked incredibly hard and received their results today. 

“Throughout this year, there has been much discussion about what the return to examinations would mean for progression to higher education. Today we have seen more students progress compared to the last time students sat exams.

“This year has seen a growth in the number of 18 year olds in the population, which will continue for the remainder of the decade, and creates a more competitive environment for students in the years to come.  

“Whilst many will be celebrating today, there will be some who are disappointed. My advice is to take advantage of the wide range of choices on offer, which includes over 27,000 courses in Clearing, along with a range of apprenticeship opportunities. UCAS is here to support you; go to or speak to a UCAS adviser on the phone or social media.”


UCAS Press Office

07881 029 025

Notes for editors 

UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, is an independent charity, and the UK's shared admissions service for higher education. 

Our services support young people making post-18 choices, as well as mature learners, by providing information, advice, and guidance to inspire and facilitate educational progression to university, college, or a degree apprenticeship. 

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. 

We also provide a wide range of research, consultancy and advisory services to schools, colleges, careers services, professional bodies, and employers, including apprenticeships. 

We’re a successful and fast-growing organisation, which helps hundreds of thousands of people every year. We're committed to delivering a first-class service to all our customers — they're at the heart of everything we do. 

Related news