This Year, Competition For Top UK Universities “Could Be Tougher.”

Competition For Best UK Universities "Could Be Tougher'' In 2023 |


Following a “massive expansion” of applications in the wake of the Covid pandemic, students may face greater competition for spots on some courses at prestigious universities this year, the head of UK Universities has warned.

Sir Steve West warned that because enrollment in research-intensive programmes like medicine and dentistry at Russell Group UK Universities has increased over the previous two years, it may become more difficult to secure a spot as A-level students wait for their results on August 17.

Research-intensive institutions considerably increased the number of undergraduate students they admitted as a result. “In the first round of Covid, what you saw happening was UK universities had made offers, students then achieved the offers so there was very little drop-off,” he added.

Now that their manpower and infrastructure are under pressure, he continued, “all they’re trying to do is just rebalance that back into some sense of normality.”

The Russell Group, which represents 24 prestigious institutions, including Oxford, Cambridge, and the London School of Economics, has issued a warning that financial limitations are forcing English UK universities to subsidy students by an average of £2,500 annually.

When asked if there may be more rivalry this year at Russell Group institutions due to a lack of resources, West responded, “Perhaps in some subject areas where there may be strains on accommodation or type of teaching spaces, surroundings, or staffing.

“Since there are workshops and laboratories, science, medicine, and dentistry are the obvious ones. The capacity of some research-intensive UK universities will be limiting enrollment in other fields, and that is the only and only reason for it.

In the summers of 2020 and 2021, students did not take official A-level exams; instead, they completed a more forgiving system of local assessment that resulted in record-breaking grades.

The University of the West of England’s vice chancellor, West, stated: “There has been massive expansion because of the difficulty in predicting grades.”

The prospect of a competition for spots was downplayed by Dr. Tim Bradshaw, chief executive of the Russell Group, as grades are expected to recover to the pre-pandemic norm this year.

“Although there is still fierce competition for spots at prestigious institutions, this year, more students are holding firm offers from the schools they like. As school exam marking returns to the pre-pandemic profile, this demonstrates institutions’ renewed confidence in making offers, the expert added.

GCSE and A-level grading being returned to their pre-pandemic patterns, several academic experts have cautioned, may penalise a group of pupils whose education was severely disrupted by school closures.

A joint letter from the exam regulating body Ofqual and the university application agency Ucas earlier this month cautioned applicants to “get ahead” by exploring their options and to be “mindful” that spaces on the most prestigious courses “do get filled quickly” after results day.

Due to an increase in the population’s 18-year-olds, the message to students stated that “there will be competition for higher education places again this year.”

Students can get a place at another college through the clearing process if they don’t have the grades they need for their first choice or reserve university. According to Ucas data from the previous academic year, out of 21,000 students who did not have a spot after receiving their marks, 58% found one elsewhere.

In a separate study of more than 3,500 graduates, it was discovered that individuals who were the first in their families to attend college made more money on average as employees than those who followed in their parents’ footsteps.

According to a study by UK Universities, graduates without a background of college degrees made an average of £30,111 per year in their first job, which is nearly £3,000 more than their counterparts who come from families of college graduates.

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