48,892 students waiting for university place decisions


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Almost 50,000 students are still waiting for decisions on university places - almost a week after A-level results were published.

The latest UCAS figures also reveal a 7.4 per cent fall in the number of people who have had their offers confirmed by universities.

The statistics show that as of today, 48,892 applicants are still awaiting a decision, compared to 49,910 who were waiting at this point last year.

These students may have narrowly missed their grades and are waiting to hear if their chosen university will still accept them, or they have had made their required grades and are awaiting confirmation.

They could also still be waiting for exam results, or to have papers re-marked, UCAS said.

The figures show that 383,766 people have had university offers confirmed, down from 414,245 at this point, six days after A-level results were released, in 2011. This is a 7.4 per cent drop.

Some 30,291 people have now been accepted through clearing - the process which matches students without a place to courses with vacancies.

At this time last year 29,983 applicants had found a place through clearing.

And 1,357 students have found a place through “adjustment”, more than double the 555 people who found a course this way last year.

Adjustment allows students who have performed better than expected in their exams to “trade up” to a different course or university.

There are now 158,232 people who are eligible for clearing, down from 182,103 at the same point last year.

The figures also show that England and Wales have seen a fall in accepted applicants.

In total, 347,660 students in England have been accepted, down from 375,707 at the same point last year.

In Scotland 37,667 have had places confirmed, up from 37,207 in 2011, while in Wales, 21,383 applicants have places, down from 23,169.

In Northern Ireland 8,704 have been accepted, compared to 8,701 last year.

From this autumn, tuition fees at English universities will rise to up to £9,000 per year.

Concerns have been raised this year that changes to the admissions system could leave bright students chasing for spare places.

Under a new admissions system, there is now no limit on the numbers of students with two As and a B at A-level that universities can recruit.

But it means universities are likely to have less flexibility to admit students who just miss this standard, as there is still a strict cap on those who score less than AAB.

Last week's national A-level results revealed that the proportion of exams awarded at least an A grade fell for the first time in more than 20 years.

Some 26.6 per cent of A-levels were awarded an A or A*, down from 27 per cent in 2011 - a drop of 0.4 per cent.

It is believed to be the biggest fall on record for A-levels.

The overall A* to E pass rate has risen to 98 per cent from 97.8 per cent.

Many young people do still believe that a degree is worthwhile, according to a survey published today.

The Santander poll, which questioned 1,000 youngsters, found that 79 per cent of 16 to 18-year-olds believe that a university degree provides the best long term career prospects.

Some 82 per cent of 19 to 21-year-olds and 69 per cent of 22 to 24-year-olds also said the same.

Just 18 per cent of 16 to 18-year-olds, said that going straight into work from school gives a person an advantage over a graduate, along with 17 per cent of those aged 19 to 21 and 20 per cent of those aged 22 to 24.

The poll also found that 78 per cent of 16 to 18-year-olds, 82 per cent of 19 to 21-year-olds and 65 per cent of 22 to 24-year-olds believe that they will recoup the cost of a degree over the course of their career through higher earnings.

Simon Lloyd, human resources director at Santander UK, said: “Traditionally, our society has impressed upon young people the benefits of getting a degree.

“As a result, the majority of school leavers feel positive about going to university and the opportunities this route offers.

“Meanwhile, a large number of recent graduates seem to be recognising the value of other types of learning, such as 'on the job' training.

“Undertaking a degree course is still the right option for many people, and remains vital for many careers. However, there are opportunities for all - no matter which educational route they take - and no route will close off long-term career success if people are prepared to work hard for it.”