Abigail MeadowFebruary 6th

Two out of five 18-year-olds in the UK have applied to university this year with a record number of Chinese and Indian students applying, according to figures from the university admissions service.

Ucas said the number of UK sixth formers applying for undergraduate places has risen this year despite a decline in the number of 18-year-olds in the UK.

Overall, 568,33 students from the UK and overseas of all ages applied by the January 15th deadline to start undergraduate courses this autumn - a rise of about 1%.

Clare Marchant, the Ucas chief executive said: “Students are making the most of this year’s unprecedented opportunity to apply to university, as more applicants are expected to receive offers, the equality gap continues to narrow, and the UK’s 18-year-old population is expected to grow again in 2021.”

Marchant also said she welcomed the rising numbers of entries from mature students and those applying to nursing courses, as these have been in decline for several years.

Interestingly, universities in London received more than 50% of the total applications from sixth formers.

Applications from young people with the poorest of educational backgrounds rose at twice that of the areas with the highest educational backgrounds, but students from advantaged backgrounds were still more likely to apply, Ucas said.

Applications from students in the EU were down by 860 compared to 2019. Other data released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency showed students living with their parents during termtime rose to nearly 20% last year, overtaking those living in university halls.

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