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UCAS Statistics Part 1, Applications

As the 2018/19 cycle drew to a close, UCAS published their end of cycle report for the 2017/18 cycle, which we have examined; we are delighted to provide a summary of the most pertinent aspects for international & IBDP applicants here.

Applications made from inside the UK continue to fall, but a 9% increase in non-EU international applications and a small increase in EU-domiciled applications go some way to levelling out the gross number of applications. Of a total 561,420 applicants, 453,840 applied from within the UK, down from 457,070 the previous cycle, with the remaining applicants coming from the EU (43,890) and outside of the EU (63,690). This means that 80.8% of applicants were UK domiciled- a significant change from earlier years, such as 2011 when 87% of applicants applied from within the UK. This small signifier of the internationalisation of the UK university sector is one we warmly welcome, and believe the UK’s university can only benefit from recruiting the brightest and the best-suited from around the world for its courses.

Reapplication rates have broadly remained the same as for the previous cycle, but again increases in international re-applications (8% for EU, 14% for non-EU) help to mediate against a small drop in applications from UK domiciled students. Reapplications account for 8% of all applications, a figure which has broadly stayed the same over the decade to now, excluding the significant rise in reapplications in the 2011 cycle, which aligns with the last application cycle in which students were able to take advantage of the lower tuition fees for home/EU students.

Applicants continue on the whole to make the most of their 5 UCAS choices, with ¾ of applicants filling all five options, but over 10% of applicants continue to submit only one or two choices, thereby significantly reducing their options once results are issued. There has been more than a 40% reduction in the number of applications made with only one choice since 2010, suggesting a greater understanding of the importance of not overly limiting one’s options, although the prevalence of applications made with only one or two choices does suggest some students continue to overly narrow their options at the point of application; remember that one does not have to accept a place at any university, regardless of the offer made, and that therefore filling five choices ought not be any more onerous than filling two!

Finally, further details were also published focusing on applications made from within the UK, and celebrating the narrowing of the gap in number of applications made between the most and least advantaged applicants.


We will shortly be publishing a similar report based on the UCAS offer-making statistics, so do be sure to check back shortly!