Northern Ireland news

Number of students accepted into university this year has fallen

Figures show 40.7 per cent of 18-year-olds from the north began an undergraduate course this month
Suzanne McGonagle

THE number of students from Northern Ireland accepted into university this year has fallen.

Figures from the University and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas) also reveal that fewer undergraduate places were available at universities in the north for local students.

In the first year since exams were held following the Covid-19 pandemic, statistics show that 40.7 per cent of 18-year-olds from Northern Ireland began an undergraduate course this month.

But the figure has fallen from the previous two years when pupils were given teacher assessed grades due to the disruption to their AS and A-level and BTEC studies as a result of the pandemic.

Ucas figures, which were released yesterday, reveal that almost 14,000 Northern Ireland students - around 8,000 women and 5,600 men - were accepted to start a university course by September 22.

But the university entry figures mark a fall in the number of students from Northern Ireland accepted, down from around 14,900 at the same stage in both 2020 and 2021.

Other statistics reveal the number of mature students - those aged over 21 - starting university this year has also fallen by around 450 to a total of 1,750 starting undergraduate degree courses this year.

The Ucas figures also show that around 9,600 students are going to a university in Northern Ireland, with 3,140 in England, 690 in Scotland and 220 in Wales.

But there are around 600 fewer places for courses at universities in Northern Ireland this year compared to 2021 and 1,000 less places than 2020.

Northern Ireland news