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Figures released today (Thursday 22 September) show 275,390 students have been accepted onto a course, higher than the 272,500 (+1%) last year and up from 239,460 in 2019 (+ 15%) – the last time results were based on exams.

The new analysis, of the 28-day point after results days for England, Wales and Northern Ireland (15 September), puts the entry rate for 18-year-olds at 37.3%. This is slightly lower than 37.9% last year, when teachers assessed students’ grades, but notably higher than 33.8% in 2019.

The number of 18-year-olds from the most disadvantaged areas in the UK (POLAR4 quintile 1) accepted into university has hit an all-time high – a total of 31,890, which is an uplift from 30,280 last year (+5%) and 26,000 in 2019 (+23%) – as widening participation continues to grow.

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