No room for high-flyers: Over 14,000 top pupils to be left disappointed as Oxbridge applications increase

Figures come as Oxbridge snubs opportunity to have more places available to would-be students through the clearing system

Education Editor

More than 14,000 high flying teenagers expected to get three top grade A-level passes next week have been turned down by Oxford and Cambridge.

Competition for places is tighter this year with Cambridge University revealing it has received nearly 450 applications this year than in 2002.

The figures show it has received 16,145 applications compared to 15, 701 last year- but has only made offers to 4,138 students. C Academics expect the mixture of students to be similar to last year when there were 9, 832 applications from UK students.

Oxford said it could not yet give details of this year’s applications - but expects them to be broadly similar to 2012 when there were 17,241 applicant - 11,832 of them from the UK - and 3.233 acceptances.

The vast majority of the UK applicants will have put in for Oxbridge places on the basis of predictions they would get three top grade passes (either at least three A grade in the case of Oxford or two A’s and an A* for Cambridge).

The figures come at a time when universities are expecting to have more places available to would-be students through the clearing system - largely as a result of the Government’s decision to allow them to expand provided they take in students with at least an A and two B grade passes at A-level.

Neither Oxford nor Cambridge are planning to take advantage of the new regime to expand their student numbers - believing their current size and intake level contributes to their world-wide reputation for excellence.

A spokeswoman for Cambridge University said: “The university seeks the ablest and best-qualified students with the greatest potential from every background and every part of the UK.

“Admissions decisions are based on students’ ability, commitment and their potential to achieve.  The success rate of suitably qualified applicants is broadly the same regardless of where in the UK they are from.

“Our outreach goal is to ensure that any student with the ability, passion and commitment to apply to Cambridge has a clear picture of what the university can offer them and receives all the support necessary for them to best demonstrate their potential.”

Figures show the number of overall university applications through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) has increased this year compared to 2012 - the first year that the new fees regime of charging up to £9,000 a year for courses came in. They showed in June that there had been 637, 500 applications compared with 618, 250 the previous year.  The level, though, has not increased to the record high in 2011 of 670,000 - when thousands of teenagers decided to forgo their gap year in order to beat the new fees structure.

Some academics argue that one of the reasons for the increased number of applications to Cambridge is that today’s students are more anxious to seek value for money for the courses they enlist on - and are thus aiming higher. Other universities, less selective, may struggle to fill all their places, it is claimed.

This year will see a growing number of Russell Group universities - those who are amongst the most research intensive higher education institutions in the UK - entering the clearing system for the first time in years as some struggled to fill places last year when the Government first allowed universities to expand their intakes (then limiting it to taking on students with three straight A grade passes).

Universities will also face increased competition from overseas as several institutions abroad - particularly in the Netherlands - have relaxed their application deadlines so they can recruit UK students after they have received their A-level results.

Number crunching: Oxbridge in numbers

16,145  The number of applications received by Cambridge University this year, 444 up on 2012. Oxford does not have figures but the figure is likely to be similar to last year when it received 17,343 applicants.

4,138 The number of offers made to students by Cambridge.  In the final analysis, it admits about 3,400 undergraduates a year.

637,500 The number of applications received by UCAS for university places this autumn - it is up on last year’s figure of 618,000 but down on the 2011 figure of 670,000.

25,000 The number of places on offer through the clearing system on A-level day last year.  More places are expected to be on offer this year.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
News
i100
News
Prince Harry is clearing enjoying the Commonwealth Games judging by this photo
people(a real one this time)
Sport
Lionel Messi looks on at the end of the final
football
Extras
indybest
News
Richard Norris in GQ
mediaGQ features photo shoot with man who underwent full face transplant
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Graduate / Trainee Recruitment Consultant - IT

£25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: Orgtel are seeking Graduate Trainee Re...

Cover Supervisor

£45 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunities for Welsh Spe...

Cover Supervisor

£45 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunities for Welsh Spe...

Cover Supervisor

£45 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunities for Welsh Spe...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on