UCAS figures show rise in applications

18 February 2021

In response to the UCAS applications figures for undergraduate courses starting this Autumn published today (18 February 2021), Cat Turhan, Policy Analyst at the Russell Group, said:

“Today’s figures show an encouraging rise in overall applications for undergraduate courses in 2021 at higher-tariff universities, including from applicants from the most underrepresented areas. It demonstrates that students remain confident about the value of the skills and knowledge provided by a high-quality university education, which will be crucial to our recovery at a national and individual level. 

“The growth in non-EU applicants from a wide range of countries also shows the UK remains a fantastic global destination for prospective students, with the introduction of a two-year post-study work visa beginning to pay dividends.

“With changes to assessments in 2021, Russell Group universities are working closely with DfE and Ofqual as well as the devolved administrations to try and ensure a smooth admissions process that minimises the stress on students. Whatever the assessment system this summer, we want to reassure students across all four nations of the UK that Russell Group universities will be as fair and flexible as possible so they are not disadvantaged in their applications.”


  • The Russell Group represents 24 leading UK universities which are committed to maintaining an outstanding teaching and learning experience and world-leading research. Our universities teach a quarter of all undergraduates and four out of five doctors, and support over a quarter of a million jobs across the UK.

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