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Three per cent rise in students entering UK higher education this year, UCAS interim analysis shows

UCAS has published its interim analysis (four weeks after A level results day) of acceptances by intended academic year of entry, country of provider and qualifications held.
Posted Thu 24 September 2015 - 09:55

UCAS has published its interim analysis (four weeks after A level results day) of acceptances by intended academic year of entry, country of provider and qualifications held.

This ‘entry year’ figure removes ‘gap year’ students who have deferred entry to 2016-17, but includes those starting this year after being accepted for deferred entry last time round. Reporting acceptances by the academic year they are recruited to, rather than by the UCAS admissions cycle in which they were accepted, is a better guide to the change in the number of those starting higher education in a particular academic year.

These statistics reflect the position recorded exactly four weeks after GCE A level results day. Acceptances at this point are usually around 98 per cent of the eventual end of cycle totals over recent cycles. For entry into 2014-15 there was a net increase of 7,950 (+2 per cent) between this point and the end of the 2014 cycle.

The full analytical report, accompanying tables, and a graphic illustrating flows of UK students between UK countries can be found in the UCAS Undergraduate Analysis Reports section of the UCAS website.


Key findings

Recruitment of students from all domiciles by entry year key findings:

  • Acceptances to the 2015-16 entry year at this point are 511,730.
  • This is an increase of 12,610 (3 per cent) compared to the 2014-15 entry year (at the equivalent point in the 2014 cycle).
  • Acceptances to the 2015-16 entry year are 7 per cent more than to 2013-14 and 16 per cent more than to 2012-13.
  • The total increase of 12,610 to the 2015-16 entry year (compared to the 2014-15 entry year) is split as an increase of 10,800 in acceptances to enter HE immediately and an increase of 1,810 in deferred entry (from the previous cycle)

By country of provider, acceptances to the 2015-16 entry year, and change compared to the 2014-15 entry year:

  • England: 435,270, +13,250, +3 per cent
  • Northern Ireland: 9,910, -1,150, -10 per cent
  • Scotland: 41,910, +620, +2 per cent
  • Wales: 24,640, -110, No change to nearest per cent

The six largest (numerically) changes by domicile group and provider country are:

  • English domiciled to English providers, +8,650 (+2 per cent)
  • EU (excluding UK) domiciled to English providers, +2,800 (+14 per cent)
  • Not EU domiciled to English providers, +920 (+3 per cent)
  • Northern Irish domiciled to Northern Irish providers, -820 (-8 per cent)
  • Scottish domiciled to Scottish providers, +640 (+2 per cent)
  • Northern Irish domiciled to English providers, +460 (+13 per cent)

Recruitment of UK and EU students by entry year

  • UK and EU acceptances to the 2015-16 entry year at this point are 472,670.
  • This is an increase of 11,780 (3 per cent) compared to the 2014-15 entry year (at the equivalent point in the 2014 cycle).
  • Acceptances to the 2015-16 entry year are 6 per cent more than to 2013-14 and 16 per cent higher than to 2012-13.
  • UK and EU acceptances to the 2015-16 entry year (and change compared to the 2014-15 entry year) by country of provider are:

England: 401,150, +12,330, +3 per cent

Northern Ireland: 9,720, -1,080, -10 per cent

Scotland: 38,490, +530, +1 per cent

Wales: 23,310, +10, No change to nearest per cent


Recruitment of UK and EU students by entry year, qualification level and type

  • UK and EU domiciled acceptances into the 2015-16 entry year are 472,670 at this point.

Numbers of acceptances are further divided into those who have achieved ABB+ criteria used by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in previous cycles for student number control arrangements.

This analysis reports changes in recruitment by a fixed group of qualifications that approximates the ABB+ grouping in effect for 2013-14. This grouping is common for each entry year reported so that trends in students with a particular attainment level can be seen.

For UK and EU domiciled acceptances into 2015-16 entry year:

  • Recorded as holding entry qualifications in the ABB+ set: 161,410, +4,180 (+3 per cent).
  • Not recorded as holding entry qualifications in the ABB+ set: 311,260, +7,600 (+3 per cent).

 

For acceptances recorded as holding entry qualifications in the ABB+ set:

  • 90,160 holding GCE A levels, -150 (no change to the nearest per cent)
  • 46,330 holding BTECs, +3,430 (+8 per cent)
  • 13,960 holding SQA Highers or Advanced Highers, +270 (+2 per cent)
  • 3,930 holding an International Baccalaureate, +310 (+8 per cent)

For acceptances not recorded as holding entry qualifications in the ABB+ set:

  • 156,420 holding GCE A levels, -440 (no change to the nearest per cent)
  • 53,610 holding BTECs, +1,040 (+2 per cent)
  • 10,580 holding SQA Highers or Advanced Highers, -200 (-2 per cent)
  • 1,710 holding an International Baccalaureate, +60 (+3 per cent)

Notes to editors

Numbers of acceptances reported here exclude those to teacher training courses at providers in Scotland. This is because a large set of teacher training courses in Scotland are being recruited through the UCAS Undergraduate scheme for the first time in 2015, having previously been recruited through UCAS Teacher Training.

Reporting this way gives a better ‘like for like’ comparison between years of entry, particularly when looking at applicants from Scotland and providers in Scotland.

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

The number of acceptances by entry year at this point can differ from the final number of higher education enrolments recorded on statistical returns. This can be due to a number of factors that can vary in their effect from year to year.

The final application and acceptances figures, by UCAS cycle, will be published as part of the End of Cycle report in December 2015.


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 over 650,000 people each year for full-time undergraduate courses at over 350 institutions across the UK.

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