Record number of students accepted into university courses amid Covid

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A record number of students have been accepted to courses in the UK this year, according to figures from Ucas.

A total of 435,430 people, from the UK and overseas, had confirmed places, up 5% from the same point last year, according to data released by the University Admissions Service.

Of British applicants, 388,230 were accepted, an 8% increase from results day last year.

A record 395,770 students have also been accepted into their first choice of full-time courses in the UK, up 8% from the 365,500 at the same time in 2020.

The numbers come the day students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland receive their A-level scores, and students from Scotland receive their top scores.

Universities have been flexible in their decisions to accommodate as many students as possible on their first choice of courses

Ucas data shows that 245,330 18-year-olds from across the UK have been accepted into degree courses, up 17% from the same point last year.

More than a third (34.1%) of 18-year-old Britons took their seats, up from 30.2% in 2020.

The data also shows that a record 20.7% of all 18-year-old Britons from the UK’s most disadvantaged backgrounds have an undergraduate place.

However, so far, no progress has been made in closing the gap with students from more advantaged areas, with 48.4% of students accepted, Ucas said.

Ucas CEO Clare Marchant said: “Universities have been flexible in their decisions to accommodate as many students as possible in their first choice of courses.

“Over the next few days and weeks, we’re ready to help anyone who doesn’t have a home find the right opportunity in clearing. “

She added: “After about a decade of growing participation, albeit slow, it is disappointing to see it stagnate, although this must be seen in light of the record number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds being accepted.”

Overall, the total number of students accepted into nursing courses increased 8% to 26,730.

Meanwhile, figures show that 8,560 English students have been accepted into medical and dentistry courses, up 23% from 6,960 on results day 2020.

Last week, the Medical Schools Council (MSC), which represents 44 principals of medical schools across the UK, warned that some schools may still struggle to increase the number of students they admit despite the announcement that schools of medicine and dentistry will receive funding to expand courses.

Alistair Jarvis, Managing Director of Universities UK (UUK), said: “We are delighted to see that a record number of applicants have had their places at the university confirmed today after an exceptionally difficult year.

“For those who don’t have the grades they hoped for, the admissions teams stand ready to help anyone with the potential to succeed in college find a place and will consider this year’s circumstances when decision making. “

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