Record numbers of A-Level students win a place at university

The figures are the highest-ever recorded on A-Level results day

A Level students compare grades on results day. Three per cent more got their first or second choice of university this year than last year
A Level students compare grades on results day. Three per cent more got their first or second choice of university this year than last year

The highest ever number of A-Level students have won a place at university, the chief executive of Ucas has said.

Mary Curnock Cook, head of the body which manages university admissions, said a record 424,000 students will be offered their first or second choice of degree course.

She said the figures were several per cent up on the previous year and meant young people were more likely to be going to university.

"It's 424,000 placed - the highest ever on A-level results day. It's up 3 per cent on last year," Ms Curnock Cook told the BBC Radio Four Today programme.

"It does mean that young people now are something like 4 per cent more likely to be going to university because, although the population was down a bit this year we've actually seen a rise in the numbers, so that's really good news."

The results come after a year in which the Conservative government has been strongly criticised for removing bursaries for the poorest university applicants.

Maintenance loan grants of £3,387 a year were converted to loans in a move which the National Union of Students said would be "detrimental to hundreds of thousands of our poorest students who currently rely on [the grant]."

And a higher education White Paper published in May this year prompted outrage from students after the government gave permission for universities to charge more than the maximum £9,000 a year in tuition fees.

A third of students feel they are not experiencing value for money on their university courses as lecturers are under pressure over personal academic research and contact hours are sometimes a little as five hours a week.

University education is largely paid for by the state in other European countries including Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.

Additional reporting from Press Association

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