The BBC reports that a third more UK university places have been filled through ‘clearing’ than at this point last year, according to figures from admissions body UCAS.
By early on Monday, 17,878 places had been snapped up through the system used to allocate remaining places, compared to 13,597 a year ago – a 31% rise.
Record university applications ahead of next year’s tuition free rises sparked fears of an unprecedented scramble from home based students.
But UCAS says there is only a slight rise in places pressure on last year.
The number of applicants is about 10,000 higher than last year, at 684,098, but the number of places available remains unchanged, at about 480,000.
By Monday, about 425,487 university places had been filled in total, about 10,000 more at this point last year. This leaves about 55,000 still to be filled.
Last year, about 47,000 students got places through clearing, which is used mainly by students who were not offered places or did not get the necessary grades to secure a place they were offered.
Some 300,000 students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland received their A-level results on Thursday.
But many faced a stressful day trying to confirm whether they had a university place, as a key part of the UCAS website was overwhelmed with traffic and had to be taken down for a few hours.
In total, 61,737 applicants are still waiting for a decision on their place, although this is down slightly on last year’s figure.
Fees rise for UK students in 2012
Many UK students have been keen to avoid the September 2012 rise in tuition fees, primarily for students living in England, which will see study costs rise nearly threefold. Source BBC.
A spokesman for UK University Services (UKUS) said:
‘Whilst the UK University’s shortage of places do not directly affect international students who want to study in the UK, the reduced number of places may leave fewer options.’
‘Overseas students hoping to start in September are advised to act fast to avoid disappointment.’
UK Universities still need overseas students to boost revenue and Britain needs the estimated £40 billion which they add to the economy.
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