By Naina Bhardwai, News Editor
More Welsh students than ever before have won a place at university this year according to data compiled by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
It concluded that 19,320 Welsh students had been accepted into higher education. The figure easily surpassed that at the same time last year when 19,160 Welsh students had won places which was considerably larger than the 17,790 who were successful at the same time in 2012 by an additional 9%.
1,310 Welsh students have won entry into university through clearing – the process that matches those who missed the grades they needed for their original choices with courses that have vacancies whilst only a significantly fewer 140 students had won places through clearing at the same time last year.
Throughout the UK, 41,760 people have been accepted through clearing – a rise of 2.3% on the same stage last year and the highest number ever recorded by UCAS two weeks after the publication of A-level results.
Hannah Morrish, Education Community Manager at The Student Room says: “Life doesn’t always go according to plan and that’s why clearing was invented. Clearing is a completely valid way to get onto a great course at top universities and you shouldn’t feel like a failure for using the system. Universities want you as much as you want them, it’s important to remember that.”
Some 379,270 have been accepted on to their first choice of course, while 35,610 have been placed on their second choice.
Association of Colleges Chief Executive, Martin Doel, urged students to take time to choose the right course for them: “While many young people will now be considering going to a university or negotiating the clearing process, it is important to remember there are other more affordable education and training routes available which can lead directly to a career,” he said.
More than 139,000 people are still free to be placed in clearing until the 20th of September. Some applicants in this unplaced group will not have met their offer conditions, others will have received no offers earlier in the year, and some have chosen not to accept any offers.
10,920 Welsh young people are due to study in Wales and another 8,260 will cross the border into England. 140 Welsh students are set to attend university in Scotland while just 10 will study in Northern Ireland.
Conversely, there were 8,980 English students preparing to go the other way and study in Wales. Forty Scottish students and 170 from Northern Ireland will progress into higher education in Wales.
Across the UK a total of 498,270 students have so far been accepted on to a degree course which is 3.3% higher than the previous year.
A spokeswoman said: “Clearing was busier than ever this year with hundreds of calls to our dedicated helpline. We still have a limited number of clearing places left in some subject areas.”
Places remain available at many of Wales’ universities including top institutions such as Cardiff University and with many of them including Aberystwyth University stressing that “normal entry requirements may not apply”.