Young Londoners 25 per cent more likely to enter higher education in 2017 than their counterparts across the rest of England

Figures published by UCAS today reveal that 41.8 per cent of 18 year olds from London entered higher education in 2017, an increase of 4.7 per cent from 2016. (‘Young Londoners’, in the context of this press release, is used to mean 18 year olds from London.)
Posted Fri 8 December 2017 - 09:57

This compares to the average of 33.3 per cent of 18 year olds in England, further widening the gap between the proportion of 18 year olds from London entering higher education, and those from the rest of the country.

The lowest entry rate to university came from the South West, with 28.9 per cent of its 18 year olds entering higher education in 2017.

Clare Marchant, Chief Executive of UCAS, said: ‘A common theme to emerge from our analysis of data from the 2017 cycle is that the entry rate of 18 year olds to higher education has increased across all parts of the UK. This trend is most pronounced in London. There have been significant and much documented improvements to secondary education in the capital. Understanding how to replicate this high level of attainment could help drive increases in entry rates elsewhere.’ 

The figures are drawn from UCAS data and analysis released today (Monday 11 December), Patterns by geography, the third wave of information to be published from the UCAS End of Cycle Report 2017.

Record number of students enter Scottish universities

The number of Scottish students going to Scottish universities increased by 3.0 per cent in 2017 to 34,830, the highest figure on record. The number of English students accepted at Scottish universities was 4,945, also the highest figure on record, an increase of 2.8 per cent.

There was a 4.3 per cent increase in international (excluding EU) students entering Scottish higher education. However, there was a 10 per cent drop in students from the EU.

Other key findings for Scotland in 2017:

  • 72 per cent of acceptances to universities in Scotland are from Scottish applicants.
  • 5 per cent of Scots who are accepted to higher education through UCAS are placed outside Scotland.

EU students entering UK universities second highest figure on record, despite decrease of 2.1 per cent from 2016

More than 30,700 applicants from EU countries accepted places in UK higher education in 2017.

There were an additional 230 acceptances from Portugal, a 24 per cent increase on 2016. There were also notable increases from Lithuania (up 12 per cent proportionally), Poland (up 6 per cent proportionally), and Spain (up 5 per cent proportionally).

However, the number of acceptances fell for most EU countries. Slovakia and Slovenia had the largest proportional falls this year, with acceptances from applicants domiciled in these countries down by 20 per cent or more compared to last year. UCAS analysis shows that the number of students accepted from European countries has varied by their GDP.

The End of Cycle Report 2017 is published in four waves, until publication in full on Thursday 14 December. The above findings all come from the Patterns by geography section of the End of Cycle Report 2017, available from today at

There will be a briefing for members of the media at 14:00 on Tuesday 12 December, at BMA House Conference Centre, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP.

Invitations have been circulated. If you have not received an invitation and would like to attend, or want to register to confirm your place, please contact:

  • Felicity Cowie, Head of Media and Corporate Communications, at
  • Rosalind Moore, Public Relations and Communications Officer, at or on 01242 545 469


Notes to editors

Every year, UCAS publishes an End of Cycle Report, which analyses data gathered from each annual cycle of undergraduate applications to higher education in the UK. The growth of this data, and opportunities for analysis and context has meant that this year, for the first time, UCAS is releasing this material in waves. This enables us to share it as quickly as possible.

  • The material released today under embargo is attached.
  • Key findings from today’s release of information will be updated in our End of Cycle Report 2017 from Monday 11 December.
  • We will issue embargoed media releases, and an updated summary of key findings, ahead of all future waves of published information.

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