+86 (0)21 6315 5619
27 OCT 2022
The world of college admissions is ever-changing and for students with top university ambitions, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. This week, demand for competitive degrees like medicine at Oxbridge has fallen for the first time in eight years. Check back next week to see what’s new and noteworthy in university admissions!
The number of aspiring students applying to Oxbridge and other prestigious degree programmes like medicine, has fallen for the first time in eight years, The Telegraph reported. Demand for such courses, which have an earlier application deadline than for other university degrees, has fallen by 3,720, or almost five per cent, to 74,090, according to figures published by Ucas, the university admissions service.
Recently The Telegraph reported on which schools in the UK scored the most number of Oxbridge offers. Westminster School in Central London topped the list, followed by Raffles Junior College in Singapore, Hills Road Sixth Form College, Peter Symonds College and Brampton Manor Academy. These acceptance rates revealed the lower interest in prestigious courses.
The number of Cambridge applicants has fallen by five per cent, which was driven by a seven per cent decline in demand from UK students. At Oxford, applications have declined by 2.6 per cent to 23,173. However, its decline has been driven by a drop in overseas and EU applications, which were down 6.4 percent and 12.2 percent respectively, whereas applications from UK students were up 0.4 per cent.
The early deadline for Oxbridge, medicine, dentistry and veterinary courses typically represents about 10 percent of applicants each year. Applications from UK 18-year-olds for those courses were down by 3.2 percent to 38,660.
There could be several factors affecting these application rates, including rising living costs in the UK. Another issue could be the announcement by Ofqual to clamp down on grade inflation as the world comes out of the effects of the Covid pandemic. The Telegraph reported that exam grade boundaries will return to similar levels seen in 2019. Senior examiners will use the grades achieved by previous cohorts of pupils, along with previous attainment data, to inform their decisions about where to set grade boundaries. The decision means that the proportion of A and A* grades awarded at A level, which reached a record 44.8 percent in 202, and fell to 36.4 percent this year, should be closer to the 25.5 percent seen in 2019. For GCSEs, the proportion of top grades is expected to fall close to the 20.8 percent seen in 2019, down from a record 28.9 per cent in 2021 and 26.3 percent in 2022.
Kevin Gilmartin, of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: "It is worrying to see that the number of UK 18-year-olds applying for the most competitive university courses has fallen at a time when the 18-year-old population is increasing.
"While this may partially reflect measures on grading standards which mean fewer students will achieve top A-level grades next year, it may also reflect the cost-of-living crisis which is impacting on households, particularly in terms of disadvantaged students."