Record A-level results spark scramble for places

One in 12 A-level exams (8%) has been awarded the new A* grade as pupils scored another record-breaking year of results for the 28th year in a row.

But despite more places on offer this year than ever before, the numbers are capped and with universities facing fines for over-recruiting, many have warned that they will have far fewer places, if any, available through “clearing” than in previous years.

Applications this year are already up by 12% on last year’s record level, with the numbers bolstered by those re-applying after not securing a place last year.

Universities minister David Willetts said “There were 18,000 courses with places available in clearing this year but for those who have sadly not done as well they hoped, university is not the only route into well-paid and fulfilling work. That is why we are also investing so much in Further Education and 50,000 extra high-quality apprenticeships.”

Last year almost 48,000 students found places through the clearing system, but with around 660,000 applications this year, estimates suggest that some 170,000 students may be turned away this year.

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