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Higher education in the UK – some key facts

The video presented a sample of facts about UK higher education. We are now going to look at some figures for admissions to UK higher education in 2015, which give more insight.

1. Over half of applicants received four or more offers and almost a third had five offers to choose between. Applicants were 52% more likely to have five offers in 2015 than in 2011.

2. 18 year old English applicants were at least 98% likely to get an offer if they made five choices – that is over a wide range of predicted grades.

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

4. Around half of 18 year olds who don’t get into university apply again the following year and 85% get in!

5. Most applicants to higher education were 17 to 19 years old, but more than 240,000 applicants were aged 20 or over.

6. A levels are the most widely held qualification among UK 18 year olds starting university, with around two thirds of them holding A levels in 2015.

7. An increasing proportion of young people held a combination of A levels and BTECs.

8. Acceptances reached new highs at all types of higher education provider (universities and colleges).

9. Young women were 35% more likely to enter higher education than men – the highest difference recorded. The entry rate to higher education for women is increasing three times faster than for men.

10. More international applicants were accepted – an increase of 11% to 29,300 for applicants from the EU, and an increase of 1.9% to 39,300 for applicants from outside the EU. Countries with a large number of acceptances were France, Italy, Romania, and Ireland in 2015.

What does this mean for you?

Here are a few points to consider:

1) If you’re looking to apply to start your studies in 2017, 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.

2) Participation in higher education is growing and expanding, with more students holding a range of qualifications, levels of attainment, 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.

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

We’ve added some Glossaries to download in the section below. These 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