UK: UCAS figures reveal record university intake

Version 1

    Decade ends with record student numbers

    Release date: Thursday 21 January 2010


    The final figures for student numbers accepted into university or college last year (2009 entry) have now been released by UCAS.

    In 1999 there were 334,594 accepted applicants. Ten years later in 2009 there were 481,854 - an increase of 44% (see table 5). This represents an increase of 25,227 (5.5%) on entry for 2008. There was an overall increase in the number of applicants of 8.7%. Applicants aged 20 and under showed a 6.9% increase.

    Mary Curnock Cook, UCAS Chief Executive said: '2009 saw an unprecedented demand for places at university or college, but significantly more students have been accepted into higher education than ever before. Whilst there have been increases across the board, our figures show that there has been a particularly large increase in applicants aged 25 years and over - 89,133 in 2009, compared to 77,286 in 2008 - a 15.3% increase (see Table 3). Males aged 25 and over have seen the biggest rise in acceptances - up 10.8% to 20,963.'

    Mary continues 'last year's cycle was record breaking for UCAS in terms of acceptances and applications. There are many factors that drive people to consider higher education, including the current economic situation, with more people looking to long term retraining in the traditionally more secure or transferable careers, such as nursing (+19.9%) and combinations within business and administrative studies (+11.4%).

    In 2009 we processed 2,387,415 applications from 639,860 applicants. On 20 August we had almost a million logins to Track* and 14,098 enquiries to our call centre, providing thousands of applicants with the information they needed to help secure the course they wanted. We are expecting even more for 2010 entry.'

    The number of applications processed by UCAS highlights the efficiency of an electronic application system. 81% of decisions were made on conditional offers by institutions by 21 August 2009 (one day after A level results day).

    For applicants looking to apply for 2010 entry, the deadline for applications has been extended to 22 January due to the adverse weather earlier in the month. Applications received at UCAS after the deadline, up until 30 June 2010, will only be considered by the universities and colleges if they still have vacancies for the course that has been selected.


    For more information, visit or call UCAS' advisers on 0871 468 0 468.


    See related story: Record university intake in 2009, BBC News, 21 January 2010