The BBC is reporting that figures from Ucas indicate the number UK university entrants passed 500,000 for the first time in 2014, with women still more likely to enter higher education than men…
Among 18-year-olds, 34% of women were allocated university places, compared with 26% of men.
The gap is more than 50% in a quarter of parliamentary constituencies.
The admissions figures also suggest more students with lower grades are getting places at top universities.
About a third of applicants getting BBB grades got places in “higher tariff” universities, about twice as many as in 2011.
There was also an increase in universities making unconditional offers to applicants they most want to recruit.
This year’s university admissions figures show a rising tide of more applications, more offers and more accepted places.
Some 512,400 people secured places in UK universities and colleges through Ucas applications in 2014, up nearly 17,000. The number of UK students rose 3% to 447,500, and there was a record number of students from outside the UK.
But there were wide variations among the UK entrants.
The Ucas figures suggest women are much more likely to enter university than men. This applies to both rich and poor families and across almost all regions.
According to Ucas, two decades ago there was no gender gap, but this has now become one of the most distinctive features of applications.
Among 18-year-olds, the numbers of women going to university is continuing to rise more quickly than their male counterparts.
In some constituencies the male entry rates are even lower. In Bristol South only 11% of 18-year-old men go on to university.
In contrast there are constituencies where more than half of female school leavers go straight to university.
Ucas says the gender gap in entry rates is the equivalent of 32,000 “missing” male students.
While the gap between male and female is at its widest ever, the gap between rich and poor is at its lowest.
Record numbers of disadvantaged students are getting places in higher education, rising by 11% compared with last year.
These students were particularly likely to enter with BTEC qualifications, rather than A-levels.But regional differences remain across the UK. Young people in London and Northern Ireland are the most likely to enter university – those in Wales and the South West of England have the lowest entry rates…
You can download the full report from UCAS at: End of Cycle Report 2014
Lots of interesting aspects to these figures – rising numbers overall, an apparent further widening of the gender gap, and more disadvantaged students getting places. Clearly some good news but also some worrying aspects, particularly on a regional basis. What do you make of it all? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…
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