Today, UCAS publishes analysis of all full-time undergraduate applications made by the 30 June deadline. This represents the full picture of demand from applicants to UCAS’ 2017 "main scheme”, where applicants make up to five choices.
The number of people who have applied to UK higher education courses for 2017 at the June deadline is 649,700.
This is 4% (around 25,000) fewer applicants compared to this point last year; a similar, but slightly smaller reduction than was seen at the January deadline (where the change was a decrease of 5%, around 30,000).
There are now 529,620 UK applicants (a decrease of 4% compared to this point last year); 49,250 EU applicants (a decrease of 5%); and 70,830 applicants from other overseas countries (an increase of 2%).
There have been reductions in applicants from all countries of the UK: 437,860 from England (a decrease of 5% on 2016); 48,940 from Scotland (down 1% on 2016); 22,530 from Wales (down 5% on 2016); and 20,290 from Northern Ireland (down 4% on 2016). More detail on these figures can be found within the Analysis of applicants by domicile publication.
The year-on-year changes in applicants show differences across age ranges. There are around 321,950 18-year-old applicants, an increase of 1,510 on last year. In England, the proportion of the 18-year-old population who have applied to higher education, the ‘application rate’, has increased from 37.2% in 2016 to 37.9%, the highest level recorded. In Wales, the application rate has fallen from 32.9% to 32.5%. There were 315,200 applicants at the deadline aged 19 or older (a decrease of 27,180 on last year). More detail on these figures can be found within the Analysis of applicants by sex and age publication.
There are additional statistics on applicants to nursing courses. Overall, there are 53,010 applicants to nursing courses, representing a decrease of 19% compared to this point last year. More detail behind these figures, and further breakdowns, can be found within the nursing publications.
Dr Mark Corver, UCAS Director of Analysis and Research, commented: “With the main application period at an end, the total numbers of people applying are down 25,000 on last year, around 4%. Within the figures, there are contrasting trends. The decrease in applicants is driven by falls from England, Wales and the EU, but applicants from other overseas countries are up 2%. Within the UK, older applicants are down, but applicants from the key 18-year-old age group have increased again to 321,950, supported by a record application rate from young people in England of 37.9%.
“How these trends translate into students at university and colleges will become clear over the next six weeks as applicants get their results and secure their places, and new applicants apply direct to UCAS’ Clearing process.”
Notes to editors
UCAS tables published today (13 July 2017) include applicant numbers by age, sex, country of domicile, country of institution applied to, and institution type (higher, medium and lower Tariff), as well as the number of applications (choices) by subject group.
Percentage changes are rounded to the nearest percent in the tables.
The 15 January ‘on time’ deadline is the deadline for applications to most courses. After 15 January, UCAS continues to send applications to universities and colleges for consideration up until 30 June. Between the 2017 January and June deadlines there were 85,510 applicants. From 1 July, new applicants for entry in 2017 apply directly to the final Clearing stage of admissions.
The January deadline applicants account for (typically) 83% of all UK domiciled applicants in a cycle, and the June deadline applicants account for (typically) 94% of all UK domiciled applicants in a cycle.
In Scotland, there is a substantial section of higher education that is not included in UCAS' figures. This is mostly full-time HE provided in further education colleges, which represents around one third of young full-time undergraduate study in Scotland, and this proportion varies by geography and background within Scotland. Accordingly, figures on applications and application rates in Scotland reflect only that part of full-time undergraduate study that uses UCAS.
In the 2015 cycle, there were also changes to the scope of the data recorded in the UCAS scheme for Scotland (including teacher training courses in Scotland moving from the dedicated UCAS Teacher Training scheme into the main UCAS scheme).
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 people each year for full-time undergraduate courses at over 370 providers across the UK.
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