Nine in 10 upgraded students secure university place after results U-turn

Latest figures from Ucas show that universities have absorbed thousands of students who achieved firm or insurance offers after receiving centre-assessed grades

Nearly nine in 10 students who received upgraded results when revised A-levels and Highers were released last month have since secured a place at their first-choice university or a comparable provider, new university admissions figures suggest.

Last month, the English, Welsh and Northern Irish governments ditched moderation algorithms and announced that students’ A-level results would be awarded using centre-assessed grades (CAGs); the Scottish government announced a similar U-turn for Higher candidates, who received teacher predictions.

According to Ucas, 174,000 UK-domiciled students received better grades after these U-turns; of these, 155,000 (89%) have gained their original firm or insurance offer or have won a place at a course at a provider in the same tariff band as their original firm choice. Some of those 155,000 were unaffected by the grade increases, either because they held an unconditional offer or because they achieved their conditional offer on results day.

Ucas estimates that around 15,000 UK-domicile students received the CAGs required to meet a firm or insurance offer. More than 13,500 of these students have subsequently been placed; there are now less than 1,500 applicants who have satisfied their original firm or insurance offers but are yet to be placed at a higher education provider. Some may find a place in the remaining days of clearing, choose to reapply next year, or pursue a different post-18 route.

In a statement released today, Ucas chief executive Clare Marchant praised universities and colleges that “have moved quickly and flexibly to confirm places for students who are qualified with their revised grades”.

“We will release further analysis on the overall number of students finding places in the coming weeks, but it’s clear that despite the ongoing challenges, record numbers have found places,” she continued. “I would encourage students to contact Ucas for advice and to continue the conversation with their original firm or insurance choice university or college. We, as a sector, are still focused on securing the best possible outcome for students who received revised results.”

Read more: Universities will honour offers to thousands of rejected students

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