first choice of university

A record 395,770 students, up 8% from 365,500 in 2020, have a confirmed place on their first choice of full-time undergraduate course in the UK. This represents 91% of everyone with a confirmed place, an increase from 88% last year. (@ucas_online)

Students are receiving their exam results this morning and signing in to UCAS Track to see if their place at university or college has been confirmed. For the first time, students from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales are receiving their grades at the same time on a single results day.

In total, a record 435,430 students have a place, up 5% on results day 2020.

Across the UK, the key acceptance numbers are:

  • In England, 326,180 students (up 10%) have been accepted. Of those, 210,850 are 18 year olds (up 18%). This means of all the 18 year olds in England, 34.7% are set to start a degree course, an increase from 30.4% in 2020.
  • In Northern Ireland, 12,690 students (up 2%) have been accepted, with 8,690 aged 18 (up 8%). The 18 year old entry rate for Northern Ireland is 38.9%, up from 36.0% last year.
  • In Scotland, 32,580 students (up 12% on last year’s Scottish results day) have a place through UCAS, with 15,470 aged 18 (up 22%). Scotland’s 18 year old entry rate through UCAS is 28.0% up from 23.9% in 2020.
  • In Wales, 16,790 students (up 6%) have been accepted, with 10,330 aged 18 (up 16%). Wales’ 18 year old entry rate is 31.2%, up from 27.3% last year.
  • For the whole UK 388,230 students (up 8%) have been accepted, with 245,330 aged 18 (up 17%). The overall UK 18 year old entry rate is 34.1%, up from 30.2% in 2020.

A record 20.7% of all UK 18 year olds from the most disadvantaged backgrounds (POLAR4 quintile 1) in the UK have an undergraduate place, 26,640 accepted students). However, as yet there has been no progress in closing the gap to students from the most advantaged areas (with 48.4% accepted). In Scotland specifically, the gap between SIMDQ1 and Q5 has marginally narrowed. 

The number of students accepted onto nursing courses has increased by 8%, to 26,730.

8,560 (up 23%) students from England have been accepted onto medicine and dentistry courses, up from 6,960 on results day 2020.

Internationally, a new high of 37,390 (+9%) students from outside the EU have been accepted, with markets including Malaysia (up 33% to 2,230 placed applicants), USA (up 33% to 2,160) and Nigeria (up 40% to 840) showing substantial increases. 9,820 EU students have been accepted to study in the UK, a fall of 56%.

All today’s data can be explored in an interactive dashboard and downloaded from the UCAS website. Updates will be published at 11:00 each weekday until Friday 27 August.

For those without a place, or not holding an offer but still keen to start an undergraduate course, UCAS’ personalised Clearing Plus service is helping match them to the right course.

In total in 2020, a record 82,915 people were placed through Clearing, with 24,755 applying for the first time directly into Clearing.

Last week, UCAS published research showing 78% of students who are getting their qualification results today but don’t have plans to study a full-time degree at university, are interested in starting an apprenticeship.

UCAS Chief Executive Clare Marchant said:

“Congratulations to everyone who has worked incredibly hard throughout the pandemic and achieved grades reflecting their efforts.

“Universities have been flexible with their decisions to accommodate as many students as possible onto their first choice of course. Over the following days and weeks, we’re ready to help anyone without a place find the opportunity that’s right for them in Clearing.

“After around a decade of widening participation progress, albeit slow, it is disappointing to see it stall, though this should be seen in light of record numbers of students from disadvantaged backgrounds being accepted.

“We know that many young people are looking at all of their options, with over three quarters of those who haven’t applied through UCAS saying they’re interested in an apprenticeship. Through our trusted, engaging, and timely information and advice, such as our CareerFinder service, we’re helping everyone discover what their next step could be.”

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page