Gateway to university swings open

The envelopes have been opened, the results passed onto anxious parents and for tens of thousands of youngsters the gateway to university and college has swung open

A record number of students have been accepted by UK universities following the announcement of this year’s A Level results.

Admissions service Ucas revealed 31,600 more applicants had been accepted by UK universities and colleges than last year – a rise of nine per cent.

Around 345,300 were accepted by their first choice. Another 98,740 were waiting for their results or decisions and 145,730 were eligible for clearing.

The body’s chief executive Mary Curnock Cook said: “Demand for higher education has recovered after a dip last year and universities are keen to accept qualified applicants.”

She added: “For some that means going through Clearing, where there are plenty of high quality vacancies. The Ucas website has all the information you need.”

Universities such as Salford also had their own clearing hotlines ( which opened on results day.

So how did this year’s Sixth Form leavers fare when it came to those actual results?

According to the official figures, the proportion of A levels awarded at least an A grade has fallen for the second year in a row.

A total of 26.3 per of entries scored an A or A* this year, down from 26.6% in 2012 when the pass rate at both grades fell for the first time in more than 20 years.

The number of A* grades achieved also dipped, with 7.6% of pupils reaching the top grade compared to 7.9% last year, according to reports.

However, the overall pass rate at A*-E rose slightly by 0.1% with some 98.1% of exams given at least an E compared to 98% last year.

Boys outperformed girls at the very top, with 8% achieving an A* compared to 7.4% of girls. However, girls are still slightly ahead on A* and A grades combined.

When it came to subjects Britain’s youngsters appear to be still turning away from modern languages, but economics was on the rise. Entries to that subject are up 50% on 2007.

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