Record number of students accepted into university courses during the pandemic

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By Eleanor Busby, AP Education Correspondent

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

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

Of the UK applicants, 388,230 were accepted, an 8% increase on last year’s results.

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

The figures come on the day students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland receive their A-level results, and students across Scotland receive their Highers results.

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

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

The data also shows a record 20.7% of all 18-year-old Britons from the most deprived backgrounds in the UK 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 percent accepted, Ucas said.

Ucas chief executive 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 coming days and weeks, we stand ready to help anyone who doesn’t have room to find the right opportunity in land clearing.”

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

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

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

Last week the Medical Schools Council (MSC), which represents 44 heads 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 develop courses.

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

“For those who do not have the grades they were hoping for, the admissions teams are ready to help anyone with the potential to do well at university find a place, and will take into account the circumstances of this year. when making a decision.”

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