Students fighting for uni places

By staff

Over 275,000 students who applied to enter university this year are yet to secure a place, latest figures show.

Statistics from the University and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas) stated that 190,183 applicants were eligible for clearing.

Only 4,083 students had failed to get their grades but found places through the clearing service by 12:00 on Friday, after A-level results were published yesterday morning.

Nearly 400,000 students have been accepted by universities, but close to 675,000 had applied, figures showed.

Ucas’ call-centre is currently dealing with students seeking to find a place, but it is inevitable that many will put off entering higher education until next year.

Around 45,000 students who did that last year contributed to over-demand this year, however. Ucas’ chief executive Mary Curnock Cook said up to 70,000 already appeared to have given up hope by either rejecting their offers or withdrawing from the system.

“It will be over 150,000 who are, for one reason or another, unplaced or who withdraw from the system, but it will be another week or so before we have got a better idea of what that number will be,” she told the BBC.

Yesterday’s A-level results saw another improvement, with 97.6% of grades awarded between A to E.

The new A* grade was awarded in 8.1% of all A-levels. Higher education minister David Willetts pointed out: “Of course, university is not the only route into well-paid and fulfilling work. That is why we are also investing so much in further education and 50,000 extra high-quality apprenticeships.”

Labour’s shadow business secretary Pat McFadden pointed out the coalition had cut 10,000 student places for the coming year compared to Labour’s plans.

“On top of those cuts government ministers have consistently attacked Labour’s target of greater participation in higher education,” he commented.