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Two in five 18-year-olds apply to study at university this year

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Two out of every five 18-year-olds in the UK are applying for a place to study at university this year, along with record numbers of students from China and India, according to figures from the university admissions service.

Ucas, which operates the application process for higher education, said the number of UK sixth formers applying for undergraduate places rose to 275,300, despite a 1.5% decline in the UK’s overall 18-year-old population, suggesting the appetite for university education remains undimmed by tuition fees, accommodation costs and rising student debts.

“Students are making the most of this year’s unprecedented opportunity to apply to university, as more applicants are expected to receive offers, the equality gap continues to narrow, and the UK’s 18-year-old population is expected to grow again in 2021,” said Clare Marchant, the Ucas chief executive.

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