The UCAS has reported that the number of Asian and Black students accepted at the top UK universities has hit a record number for 2021. In addition, the number of students from different backgrounds has also increased.
The number of black students who were accepted rose by 19%. These higher figures were the result of the rise in higher A-Levels awarded in 2021 after the government decided to replace exams with teacher-assessed grades.
Similarly, the UCAS has stated the number of students who received the top A-Level grades almost doubled since 2020, from 12,735 to 19,595. In addition, it nearly quadrupled from pre-pandemic times, at 5,655 in 2019.
The increase in results and numbers of 18-year-olds in the UK population saw more applicants offered places too, with 492,005 students being offered a course and accepting it. Likewise, the number of school leavers looking to complete further study rose, with 38% deciding to progress at a UK university.
The Chief Executive of UCAS, Clare Marchant said in response to this: “This year sees the return to exams, and is the second year of what will be a decade of growth of 18-year-olds in the UK population. As we are set to hit one million applicants by 2026, it will be even more important that the higher education admissions system meets the needs of students in this increasingly competitive environment.”
Another thing the UCAS’s data revealed was that almost 21% of students receiving free school meals were accepted on a college or university course the year prior. This is also the highest rate on record according to the UCAS.
In saying that, applications from people of more privileged backgrounds continued to be offered places at even higher rates than the years prior. The number of applicants from wealthy backgrounds rose by 15%. At the same time, applicants from poorer areas rose significantly slower, at 10%.