University Deferrals Down Despite Coronavirus

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UCAS have released figures that show the percentage of students who have chosen to defer has reduced compared to last year.

This year’s data shows that 500,340 applicants have confirmed their place for university study in the 2020/21 academic year, with 20,690 students choosing to defer. Last year, the figures were 494,530 and 20,840 respectively. The percentage of students choosing to defer has gone down by 0.7%, and the number of students accepting their place for study for the next academic year has risen by 1.2%.

Students from the UK have seen a rise in applications for the next academic year, with deferral numbers decreasing by 4.1%. However, international students appear more likely to defer, with deferral figures increasing by 21.3%.

A small increase in deferrals was found in upcoming students from low socio-economic background, however this was only a change of 60 students.

Clare Marchant, Chief Executive for UCAS, has said the numbers show that the ‘announcements on the blend of online and face-to-face learning that most are planning to deliver have been building confidence ahead of the start of term,’ after the Office for Students warned that universities needed to be honest to upcoming students or risk facing a reduced cohort.

Universities UK Chief Executive, Alistair Jarvis, commented:

University remains an excellent choice for students. Despite the disruption caused by Covid-19, students can expect a high-quality experience this autumn, with most universities planning to deliver teaching, student support and social activities in-person.

The figures from UCAS have been gratefully received by the sector, who have currently been under a great deal of financial pressure during the COVID-19 crisis.

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