Record number of students win university places

Acceptances on A-level results day up 2.9 per cent year-on-year, says Ucas

August 18, 2016
Students checking exam results
Source: Alamy

A record number of students were placed in UK universities and colleges as A-level results were released, with acceptances up 2.9 per cent year-on-year.

Ucas said that 423,880 applicants had secured a place as of midnight on 18 August, an increase of 11,800 on the same point in 2015.

This included 201,230 UK-domiciled 18-year-olds, up 2 per cent year-on-year despite a fall in the population. As a result, young people were 4 per cent more likely to have been placed in higher education than last year, Ucas said.

The admissions service also reported a rise in acceptances from older age groups, with the number of those winning a place who are aged 25 and above increasing by 8 per cent.

And the number of non-UK European Union students enrolling in British universities rose by to 26,830, a 10.8 per cent increase year-on-year, with no immediate sign of the UK’s vote to leave the EU hitting recruitment.


Student resources

How to survive A-level Results Day
How to deal with stress over exam results
Video: 10 common Exam Results Day questions – answered


This year’s results show the first signs of a narrowing of the gender gap in university admissions, with a 2.5 per cent increase in the number of 18-year-old UK-domiciled men placed, compared with a 1.6 per cent increase in the number of women. But the gap remains wide, with 27,430 more females winning places than males.

More selective institutions accounted for the bulk of the expansion on results day, with higher and medium tariff institutions reporting year-on-year growth of 3.4 per cent and 4.2 per cent, respectively. Lower tariff institutions reported growth of only 1.2 per cent.

There was a very slight narrowing of the gap in entry rates between the most and least advantaged students, with UK-domiciled 18-year-olds from the least advantaged backgrounds being 6.8 per cent more likely to win a place compared with last year. But the most advantaged students remain two and a half times more likely to secure a place compared with their least advantaged peers.

Mary Curnock Cook, the chief executive of Ucas, said that it was a “big day” for hundreds of thousands of young people who had chosen to enter higher education.

“I’m particularly pleased to see the first small signs of improvement for young men, although they are still too far behind,” she added.

Top A-level grades were down for the fifth year in a row, with 25.8 per cent of all entries receiving an A or A* grade, compared with 25.9 per cent last year. Overall, 98.1 per cent of entries received a pass grade of A* to E, the same proportion as in 2015.

Female students continued to get more A or A* grades than their male counterparts, but their lead shrunk to just 0.3 percentage points, the lowest level for at least a decade.

chris.havergal@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Laurel and Hardy sawing a plank of wood

Working with other academics can be tricky so follow some key rules, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations