THE highest number of 18 year olds to date have been accepted at UK universities this year, after UCAS reported a 1.5% rise in student applicants to nearly 239,000.

The annual report from UCAS also detailed how young people’s chances of entering higher education have increased to a record 32.5% in England, despite the nationwide fall in population.

The young people in this group typically have lower family incomes, live in areas where fewer people go to university, attend state schools, and are more likely to be men or in a white ethnic group.

BA Journalism admission tutor Sara Eyre believes that everyone should be encouraged to take up higher education, and explained the importance of post-school education.

She said: “Personally I do think everyone should be encouraged. Try and help them achieve it is what we need to be thinking about. Education shouldn’t be just the privilege of people who can afford it, coming naturally into their lives.

“It is raising awareness and trying to encourage people from a local community and around Salford to think about higher education as something they can take part in.“

There were 718, 400 applicants overall in 2016, only 100 fewer than the number of applicants in 2015.

In the 2016 cycle, 535,200 of these applicants were placed in higher education through UCAS acceptances.

Of the fifth of the young English population from backgrounds with the lowest entry rate to higher education, 13.6 per cent entered university in 2016, a rise from 13.5 per cent in 2015 (an increase of 0.1 percentage point).

The number of international student applicants has also been on the rise over the past twelve months, with 2.8% of Luxembourg’s entire population applying for university through UCAS.

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