Thousands of pupils secure place at their first-choice university as grading returns to normal

Thousands of pupils secure place at their first-choice university as grading returns to normal

  • University acceptances up on 2019, with 79% getting first their choice
  • 27.2% of A levels at grade A or above, compared to 25.4% in 2019
  • 90.5% of T Level students achieve a Pass or above in the second year of the flagship new qualification
  • Results back to pre-pandemic levels in an important step back to normal

Young people across England are celebrating exam results this morning – with thousands of them moving on to university, apprenticeships and the world of work.

Overall, 79% of 18-year-old pupils in the UK receiving a decision today have gained a place at their first choice university.

16, 530 students who received free school meals (FSM) have also gained a place at university which is a 60% increase from 2019.

In a sign that grading is returning to normal, this year, 27.2% of UK entries for A levels achieved a grade A and above, slightly higher than 25.4% in 2019, before the pandemic. 76% of UK entries achieved a grade C and above, in line with 75.9% in 2019. 

This year has seen Mathematics continue to be the most popular A Level since 2014 as well as record-breaking numbers of A Level entries in Computing, producing over 16% more entries than last year. The data from this year’s results day show 34.8% of entries from free schools and 25.4% of entries from academies getting a grade A or above - compared to 22.0% of entries from Local Authority maintained comprehensive schools. 

Around 3,400 T Level students received their results today as the second ever cohort completed the new, high quality technical qualification. 90.5% of T Level students achieved a Pass or above.

T Levels offer a wide range of progression options as many of these students will also go on to do apprenticeships, and UCAS has today revealed that 1,220 T Level students have been accepted into university, demonstrating the value and reputation of these qualifications.

Over 250,000 certificates were awarded for those completing their Level 3 vocational and technical qualifications.  

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said:

"Congratulations to everyone receiving results today. There are more opportunities than ever before so whatever your results, I’m sure you will have a bright future ahead of you.

"It's fantastic to see the number of young people accepted to university - including to their first choice - continue to be up on the years before the pandemic, while thousands more go off to exciting apprenticeships and the world of work.

“As always, there are a wide range of fantastic options for those who did not get the results they hoped for, and students can find out more by visiting the UCAS website or through the National Careers Service.”

If students have not received the grades they were hoping for, there are thousands of high-quality courses available through Clearing. This morning there were nearly 29,000 courses available, many of which are at the most selective universities. Clearing opportunities can be accessed through this link:

For those who do not wish to go through Clearing, students can call the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900 for advice on their next steps.

There are also options available other than university. Apprenticeships offer people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to gain the skills they need to build successful careers, while making sure employers can access the skilled workforce they and our economy need to grow.

For more information and to explore all the other exciting options available to young people go to:  Get the Jump: explore your education and training choices | National Careers Service

Almost £5 billion has been made available to help pupils to recover from the impact of the pandemic, including over £1.5 billion for the National Tutoring Programme and 16-19 Tuition Fund, which have supported millions of students in need of extra support. Nearly four million tutoring courses have now been started through the National Tutoring Programme, including over 1.3 million so far this academic year.


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