77,810 Students Applied to UK Universities This Year

United Kingdom Europe Higher Education News by Erudera News Oct 29, 2021


A total of 77,810 students have applied to universities in the United Kingdom this year, increasing 1 percent on last year, data by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) have revealed.  

According to a statement issued by UCAS, the October 15 equal deadline has been set for all those who want to start a course in autumn next year at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge or to medicine, dentistry, or veterinary courses at any other UK university, Erudera.com reports.

“This deadline usually accounts for approximately 10% of the total number of applicants in a cycle. The equal consideration deadline for all other courses, universities and colleges is 26 January 2022,” the statement reads.

Other findings include:

  • The number of 18 year olds in the UK applying by the October 15 deadline has increased by 3 percent (39,920 vs 38,580).
  • A total of 3,030 students from the most disadvantaged groups (POLAR4 quintile 1) have submitted applications, marking an increase of 8 percent from 2,800 last year, with 17,570 of the most advantaged (POLAR4 quintile 5) applying this year.
  • 29,710 persons have submitted applications for medicine courses, an increase of 4 percent compared to last year.  
  • The number of international applicants, including those from EU has dropped by 4 percent this year from 22,730 in 2021.
  • Applicants from Ireland have increased by 15 percent (850 from 740 in 2021).
  • The number of non-EU applicants remains stable this year, following the 20 percent increase in 2021 compared to a year earlier.  
  • The number of Chinese applicants also remains strong, marking a 5 percent increase this year.

UCAS Chief Executive, Clare Marchant, expressed delight over the 8 percent increase in the number of students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds applying to the most competitive courses. 

“We know that increased demand and the continued rise in the number of 18-year-olds in the UK population will put a squeeze on available places, particularly those at the most competitive institutions and on the most competitive courses,” Marchant said.

She further encouraged students to continue having aspirations but also to be realistic and make sure that they have a backup plan, so they remain open to all opportunities offered to them.

“We know that many applicants, including those applying to the most selective universities and courses, are considering a higher or degree apprenticeship as well as a traditional undergraduate degree as part of the range of options available to them,” she said.

Marchant emphasized that UCAS is ready to support students, providing the latter with the necessary guidance which might help them to make an informed decision for their future.

Related News

United Kingdom

Staff at more than 40 universities in the United Kingdom have joined strike over pay and working conditions, disrupting the freshers week, which is the period when new students begin studies at a UK university.

United Kingdom

Sep 28, 2023

Student housing at UMass Dartmouth

Are you a student worried about finding somewhere to live while studying abroad? Take Erudera’s survey to contribute to our research on student housing and possibly help make a difference in students' ongoing struggle with accommodation.

United States

Sep 22, 2023

mental health support

While millions of students in the United Kingdom begin their university studies this month, research shows a significant proportion feel lonely at some point, and many worry they will be judged if they admit it.

United Kingdom

Sep 20, 2023