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Higher education in the UK – some key facts

The video gave you a few facts about UK higher education. We are now going to look at some figures for admissions to UK higher education in 2016, which give more insight.

1. More applicants from the UK placed than ever before reflecting an increase in the entry rates of 18 and 19 year olds which reached over 330,000, the highest numbers ever placed.

2. The majority of applicants were placed at their preferred ‘first’ choice.

3. More applicants received multiple offers. Over half of applicants received four or more offers and almost a third had five offers to choose between. Applicants were 54% more likely to have five offers in 2016 than in 2011.

4. Over 98% of young applicants who made five choices received at least one offer and that’s across a wide range of predicted grades.

5. The number of EU applicants increased by 5.6% to 53,600, and the number placed in 2016 continued to rise, with increased numbers from Poland, Germany, Spain and Bulgaria. There was a fall in the number of non-EU international applicants - the number placed was 38,300.

6. A levels are still the most widely held qualification amongst UK 18 year olds starting university, with around two-thirds of them holding A levels in 2016.

7. Entry rates for young people holding a combination of A levels and BTECs continues to increase and more students with BTECs accepted places at medium and higher tariff providers.

8. More applicants were placed at medium and higher tariff providers, and medium tariff providers recruited more students with lower grade A levels.

9. Relatively few young people enter higher education holding the International Baccalaureate (IB). In 2016, the entry rate for UK 18 year olds entering higher education holding the International Baccalaureate (IB) was 0.3 per cent, just over 2,000 acceptances.

10. The difference in entry rates between women and men widened further, with young women more likely to enter all types of higher education provider, and 32% more likely than men to enter higher tariff providers.

What does this mean for you?

Here are a few points to consider:

  • If you’re looking to apply for 2018, you could consider being a bit ambitious with one or two of your choices, because you have a good chance of getting offers from several universities. For example, you could consider applying to a university or course which sets slightly more demanding entry requirements or which is more competitive. But, you will need to present a strong application and personal statement. We’ll be hearing from university admissions teams in Week 2 of this course where you can get some tips.

  • Higher education is growing and expanding, with more students holding a range of qualifications and grades, and from disadvantaged areas. Higher education has got a lot to offer all young people – it is not simply for those predicted top grades in academic subjects. We will be looking at the different pathways to higher education in later course steps.

  • There is a vast array of subjects and courses to choose from. We will also be exploring this further in the next step.

There’s more information in the downloads section at the bottom of this page which you may find useful. These include some glossaries, which provide explanations of some words or terms which may be new or unfamiliar to you.

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This article is from the free online course:

Smart Choices: Broadening Your Horizons