There is an ongoing “battle for students” in the UK right now.
The Guardian reported that elite universities are competing with less stringent schools for undergraduates in a bid to attract more students to secure their funding.
UCAS data reveals a record number of university course placements after A-Level results were released last week. Even medical schools – known for their highly-competitive admissions processes – still have places on offer.
Eighteen out of the 24 Russell Group universities join the total 134 institutions still advertising courses as of last Friday.
The Guardian notes that the increase in the number of international applicants could be the reason behind the trend of UK universities maintaining or even expanding their incoming student cohort, although there has been an overall decline in acceptances by UK students. This year, a record 32,430 international students from outside the EU have so far gained admission.
Removing the cap on student numbers has resulted in prestigious universities taking in more students at the expense of the less prestigious ones. No surprises there. https://t.co/EOx9nIhojn
— CDBU (@cdbuni) August 20, 2018
More than 20,000 are going to higher-tariff institutions, including Oxbridge and research-intensive Russell Group universities such as University College London and the University of Birmingham.
According to the BBC, there are fewer applicants listed as free to be placed in Clearing, down from 186,270 in 2011 and four percent lower than last year’s figure of 134,840.
These trends take place as the UK speeds through demographic change, observing a three percent decline in the number of 18-year-olds living in the country this year.
Mark Blakemore, Head of Student Recruitment at St George’s, University of London, said: “We do have a few places left for medicine (normally a very competitive area) – really single digits.”
He said that the university had not dropped its grade requirements for potential students and was receiving interest from students who had performed better than expected in their A-levels.
“It’s on the back of that, that they are calling us,” he said.