The University of Exeter is sticking to its offers to the letter after an unexpected rise in acceptances left its courses oversubscribed.
Exeter, which won Times Higher Education's University of the Year award in 2007, has been forced to turn away applicants whose results did not precisely match the offer they were made, after seeing a 40 per cent rise in firm acceptances earlier in the admissions process.
A spokesman said that the increase was unexpected. "It's certainly been our best year for undergraduate admissions. It's not clear why Exeter has experienced a sudden explosion in popularity. Certainly the university has been moving steadily up the league tables and Exeter has always been a popular place to come and study. Possibly winning Times Higher (Education) University of the Year was the reason."
He added: "Combined with the rise in A-level scores this year, it has meant that we have had to stick very firmly to published entry grades. Whereas in previous years there has been a bit of flexibility for students who haven't quite made the grades, this year there has been almost none in most subjects."
The university expects to have about 180 students over its quota, with an intake of 3,473 against the planned 3,293.
"The extra numbers aren't so great as to cause us any particular problems with accommodation or teaching," the spokesman said.