National Union of Students


Press Release   •   Aug 16, 2012 11:45 BST

There is no evidence to suggest that more students than ever will be accepted to their first choice university, despite claims by Universities Minister David Willetts in today’s Guardian newspaper*.

Changes to the system mean that universities can recruit unlimited numbers of students that achieve AAB grades or higher at A-Level. However, there is no evidence to suggest this will have any impact on student choice.

Statistics from UCAS, published this morning showed that as of midnight 357,915 applicants had been accepted into a university or college, compared with 384,649 last year, a fall of 6.95 per cent.**

Rachel Wenstone, NUS Vice-President, said:

“David Willetts has provided absolutely no evidence to suggest that his reforms will create more choice for students. In fact overall fewer applicants than last year have had their places confirmed, and as a result of minister's tinkering with student number controls many now face an anxious wait."

“No amount of wishing on the minister’s part will stop thousands of students having their choice of course restricted by a squeeze on numbers, the removal of almost all undergraduate teaching funding, and massive loans that encourage them to make decisions based on finances rather than ambition or ability.”

“The hundreds of thousands of students who have received their A-level results today should be unreservedly congratulated for their hard work but Ministers have not made their lives any easier."

NUS (National Union of Students) is a voluntary membership organisation which makes a real difference to the lives of students and its member students' unions.

We are a confederation of 600 students' unions, amounting to more than 95 per cent of all higher and further education unions in the UK. Through our member students' unions, we represent the interests of more than seven million students.