Higher education entries for 18-year olds at an all-time high


In the UCAS End of Cycle Report (which analyses data gathered from each annual cycle of undergraduate applications to higher education in the UK), we’re told that despite a fall of 1.2% in the 18-year old population in 2017, a record proportion of 18-year olds gained a place at university or college.

Increases weren’t seen right across the UK however. The entry rate for Northern Ireland fell by 0.4% to 34.5% and for Wales it fell 0.1% to 29.4%. Yet this was buoyed by increases in England of 0.8% to 33.3% and Scotland of 0.6%% to 25.9%. Overall, this means a nationwide increase of 0.7%. That’s a total of 241,585 placements, which is 1.1% higher than 2016.

With so many 18-year olds choosing the more traditional route to further education, we can’t help but wonder if this might have had an impact on the recently reported decrease in uptake of Apprenticeships. Only time will tell.

Keeping ever-vigilant as to the potential impact of Brexit, it was also interesting to note the levels of international students who were awarded places. International students (excluding EU countries) increased to a record high of 40,245. This is up 5% up on 2016. The number of EU students placed fell by 2.1 per cent on last year, to 30,700.

Clare Marchant, Chief Executive of UCAS said, "These headline entry rates for UK 18-year olds indicate that young people are increasingly attracted to full-time undergraduate education. It is encouraging to see almost 86% of those who applied to university were accepted – a record high.

"Overall, there was a very slight decrease of 0.5 per cent in the total number of UK students entering higher education this year, with decreases in mature students being most significant. Whilst we can speculate about the reasons for the reduction in mature students entering higher education, more work would be sensible to better understand the drivers behind this.

"Further releases of data from our End of Cycle Report 2017 in the coming weeks will tell us more about success in widening participation, and other key areas."

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

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Higher education entries for 18-year olds at an all-time high
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