Rising demand for degree programs in the UK amidst global pandemic

Rising demand for degree programs in the UK amidst global pandemic

The latest UCAS data indicates that a record number of people are choosing higher education and that the highest percentage ever of people from disadvantaged backgrounds is entering university.

Across the UK, 606,645 people of all ages applied to higher education in 2021 (+5% in 2020), and 492 005 were accepted (+1%). In the United Kingdom, over 67,000 students aged 25 and older were offered places to further their lifelong learning.

7% more 18-year-olds were placed in the UK in 2021 than in 2020 (27,235 up from 257,895) as the 18-year-old population grows.  More than eight in ten students were able to get into their first-choice college or university (up from 76%). Approximately 38.3% of 18-year-olds seeking admission gained admission in 2021 (compared with 34.1% in 2019).

End of 2021 Cycle Analysis (source: UCAS)

  • 749,570 - Applicants

  • 562,060 - Accepted Applicants'

  • 38.3% - 18-year-old entry rate 

There were almost twice as many applicants achieving A levels as in 2020 (19,595 compared to 12,735) and nearly four times as many as in the days before the flu pandemic (5,655 in 2019). The result is that 103,010 UK young people will be accepted by higher tariff providers, an increase of 11% over 92,650 young people who will be accepted in 2020.

In three years, there will be 811,13031 people in this age group in the UK, which means that there will be an increase of 114,060 18-year-olds by 2025. With 90,000 more applicants, the competition will get fiercer unless the system can keep up with that growth. Universities might need to provide 358,000 additional student places in England alone by 2035. 

Fascinating Statistics about University Acceptance Rates UK (https://markinstyle.co.uk/university-acceptance-rates-uk/)

  • University acceptance rates in the UK range from 44% to 8%.

  • Unconditional offers are made to 1 in 12 applicants on average.

  • The most competitive degrees in the UK are Business and Science.

Applicants by Age 


Applicants by Gender