According to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), 1,03,010 young people in the United Kingdom were welcomed to study at competitive universities and colleges by the end of the 2021 admissions cycle, an increment of 11% from 2020, when 92,650 students were accepted.
“The number of applicants achieving A level grades equivalent to three A’s nearly quadrupled from pre-pandemic levels to 19,595 (5,655 in 2019), and close to doubled compared to 2020 (12,735),” said UCAS in a press release.
According to Clare Marchant, Chief Executive of UCAS, students’ achievements throughout the pandemic, blended with the flexibility provided by universities and colleges, have resulted in more students being able to study for a degree, particularly at the most competitive academic institutions.
“Half of the applicants say they’re interested in knowing more about apprenticeships as well as the traditional three-year undergraduate route. A crucial part of our independent and trusted role is to make sure students know enough about their options to make an informed decision, that’s right for them and we’ve seen searches on UCAS’ Career Finder increase by 45% this year to top 2 million,” Marchant added.
The key points according to the new statement include:
- The percentage of 18-year-olds from the United Kingdom with a confirmed place increased to 38.3 per cent, depicting 2,75,235 students, up from 37.0 per cent, or 2,57,895 students, in 2020 and 2,41,515 in 2019.
- A total of 2,23,315 UK 18-year-olds got their first choice of course, up from 1,94,035 in 2020 and 1,77,680 in 2019.
- The number of 18-year-olds in the country who have decided to defer their studies for a year has also increased by 15%, from 3,185 to 24,855.
- In the United Kingdom, 6,06,645 students of all ages applied for higher education, with 4,92,005 accepted.
At the international level, 1,42,925 people of all ages applied, with 70,055 accepted.
“This is split between 1,11,255 people from outside the EU applying (+12%), with 54,030 accepted (+2%); while 31,670 people from the EU applied (-40%) and 16,025 were accepted (-50%),” UCAS notes.
A further significant point included in the UCAS statement is that a total of 7,49,570 applicants of all ages and domiciles applied during the 2021 admissions, a 3% increase from last year, of which 5,62,060 were admitted.
UCAS reported in October that 77,810 students applied to universities in the United Kingdom this year, a 1% increase from the previous year.