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Limited places for Welsh students

24th August 2011

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New figures released by UCAS show that a third of Welsh students risk missing out on a place at university.

WalesIt has emerged that for each remaining vacancy there are as many as four applicants. The figures also showed that of Welsh students, 259 less were accepted into university compared to this time last year. Despite this the number of applicants has risen compared to 2010. The overall percentage of students accepted on to university has fallen by 0.7% this year.

The data is not definitive, but it does consider the ongoing clearing process in which students who did not receive an offer are matched to courses that still have vacancies. Shadow Education Minister Angela Burns has said the figures suggest that Welsh students have lost out to the English.

The President of NUS Wales, Luke Young, says the reasons behind the new figures are increased competition and a drop in top A-level results. He added that even Welsh students with good A-level results are being pushed out by a cap of numbers. There is a concern that the fall in Welsh students gaining A* and A grades could result in difficulties for them to secure a university place.

Mr Young added that one important thing now is to look at the demographic of the Welsh students turned away by universities. It may be that they have not had the same educational opportunities and support as the ones who managed to secure a place.

A Welsh government spokesperson has said that it is too early to assess the UCAS figures as the clearing process is still ongoing. He also added that for students who have missed out on a university place there are other options, such as further education or the Open University.

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