More than 35,000 applicants have successfully gained a place in the first week of Clearing, a similar number to last year. It has been a busy time for applicants, as well as for higher education institutions and UCAS, who have been responding to the needs of applicants through Clearing and adjustment. There has been an increase in the use of adjustment from 558 students last year to 1,353 students this year.
The numbers of those accepted in Clearing has remained similar to last year, even though the total number of applicants free to seek a place in Clearing declined from 2011 to 2012. This decline is partly due to demographic changes, as there are fewer 18-year-olds this year.
Looking at the change in total acceptances (from either Clearing, adjustment or conditional or unconditional offers) between this year and last year, there has been a decline of 6.6%. However, this needs to be viewed in the context of a decline in applicants of 7.5% (as of 24 August), which is again partly due to demographic changes.
What this means for applicants, is that they have a greater chance of securing a place this year compared to last year. Even more students will find their place at university in the next three weeks of Clearing and if last year is anything to go by, these could be around 20,000 students.
However, the picture differs according to where you apply from. Emerging findings on students from Non-EU countries show that acceptances have not quite kept up with applicant demand.
Although there had been a 8.5% increase in applicants from Non-EU countries (on 30 June), there has been only a 4.0% increase in acceptances from those Non-EU countries. Interestingly, the number of students accepted, who applied from China and India, are almost exactly the same as at this point last year.
There was a decline of 12.9% in applicants from EU countries (on 30 June) and acceptances are down by 13.7% so far. There has been a decrease in German acceptances by almost a quarter (almost 500 fewer acceptances), despite a double-cohort of pupils graduating with their ‘A-levels’ in several areas of Germany and thus stronger competition for places at German universities. Other declines of several hundred acceptances each can be seen for students applying from Ireland, France, Cyprus and Lithuania.
There are still three more weeks to apply in Clearing and three more weeks for institutions to work through the pile of applicants – UUK will continue to monitor developments and the situation of applicants and acceptances at UK higher education institutions.