UK: University applications reach record levels

More than 200,000 would-be students are likely to be left without a place at a UK university this year as undergraduate applications reach record levels for the fourth year running, write Anna Bawden and Warwick Mansell for The Guardian. Applications are almost a fifth up on last year, according to the latest figures from the university admissions service, Ucas.

So far, more than 570,000 students have applied for a place at university this autumn, an increase of more than 100,000 on the same time in 2009. Applications close in June. There was also bad news for those leaving university this year, as a business body warned that new graduates face a "double whammy" in the jobs market: a continuing fall in the number of vacancies available and no increase in average starting salaries for those who do manage to gain employment.

Last year about 480,000 people got a place at university, after 633,000 applied. This year, the Higher Education Funding Council for England has confirmed there will be 6,000 fewer places for full-time undergraduates, meaning that more than 200,000 will not be accepted on to an undergraduate degree course if applications continue to come in at the same rate. UK applicants are up 22.1%, while overseas applicants have risen from 55,245 to 71,105 (up 28.7%).
Full report on The Guardian site