There has been a drop in the number of students getting a place at their first choice university, which UCAS Chief Executive Clare Marchant said “is what we expected as we return to the normal grading”.
The number of placements offered are down 3% on last year but significantly up 15% on 2019, the last time grading arrangements were the same.
12% of students have been placed at their insurance choice; this compares to 14% in 2019 and 11% in 2022.
A further 9% have not been placed at their first or insurance choice and are now in Clearing, which compares to 12% in 2019, and 7% in 2022.
Read more: Clearing: Top Tips for Getting a Place.
There are nearly 29,000 courses available in Clearing this morning, along with 8,000 apprenticeships, compared to about 26,000 courses available in Clearing at the same point last year.
Overall, 414,940 applicants have gained a place at university or college; this figure includes 230,600 UK 18-year-olds.
In total, 51,210 international students have been accepted to a UK university, compared to 52,440 last year (-2.3%). The top three countries with placed applicants are China (11,630 acceptances in 2023 compared to 13,180 in 2022), India (4,780 vs 4,050) and Hong Kong (3,050 vs 3,420).
The number of students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds in the UK to gain places on university and college courses is 25,760 this year, compared with 26,440 last year. The number of 18-year-olds from the most advantaged backgrounds in the UK to be accepted is 76,780, compared with 79,650 in 2022.
In the second year that T Levels have been awarded, 1,830 T Level students applied to higher education – 97% have received at least one offer and 1,220 have been accepted.
UCAS Chief Executive Clare Marchant said:
“Firstly, I want to say a huge congratulations to the hundreds of thousands of students up and down the country who are celebrating their results and next steps today.
"I am delighted to see more than 200,000 UK 18-year-olds have secured their first choice, which is testament to their hard work and commitment to progress to higher education in a year that has seen many complex factors at play, such as geopolitics, the economy and job market, and cost of living.
“However, today’s data shows that challenges in widening participation to the most disadvantaged students still persist. This demonstrates that we all need to continue the efforts to ensure the most disadvantaged individuals in society are able to benefit from life-changing opportunities in higher education and training, particularly as the 18-year-old population grows.