Acceptance rates fall by 6.95%
UCAS has now processed all A level results and as of midnight 357,915 applicants have been accepted into a university or college, compared with 384,649 on results day last year. This represents a fall of 6.95 per cent.
The figures published today also show that around 79,000 UK applicants are still awaiting results or decisions and over 10,000 have already applied directly into Clearing.
A total of 629,140 people have so far applied this year to higher education institutions in the UK, compared with 681,593 at the same point in 2011.
Mary Curnock Cook, UCAS Chief Executive, said: "More than 300,000 applicants whose places are dependent on their grades are waiting to hear if they have been accepted today.
"Despite the fall in applications this year, entry to higher education remains competitive and we expect to see an active Clearing period. Over 25,000 courses are showing vacancies for UK applicants. More than 50,000 people found a course in Clearing last year. It is important that all students research course requirements thoroughly and think carefully before making a decision that is likely to affect their future career. Anyone considering applying again next year can research 2013 courses on our website now."
As well as rising tuition fees, this year also sees changes aimed at increasing competition for students between England's universities. Universities can take an unlimited number of students with top grades (AAB or higher).
Jason Geall, Managing Director, The Student Room has noticed a difference in the way potential students are approaching results day. “It seems to be more of a buyer’s market this year - there are more places available during the confirmation period and students may feel that they can afford to shop around because there has been a slight decrease in applications. The change in rules on AAB grades will also have an impact. The introduction of higher fees is affecting those courses that may not appear to lead directly to employment opportunities. We expect to be supporting students today as they weigh up these rather more commercial considerations about their education choices today."
Applicants can log in to Track on the UCAS website from 08:00 on results day to see if they have been accepted or are eligible for Clearing. Students should also check their email and the post for Confirmation letters.
Students who want to consider a Clearing place can start looking at courses with vacancies from early in the morning on results day and they should discuss courses that interest them directly with the universities as soon as possible. Courses with vacancies are listed on the UCAS website and in The Telegraph. Formal applications to Clearing courses can be made through UCAS from 17:00.