Press release

MillionPlus comment on A level results day

17 Aug 2017

MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has commented on the UCAS statistical release on A levels published today.

Alan Palmer, Head of Policy and Research for MillionPlus, said:

“Today is an important day for everyone receiving their results and making decisions about the next stage of their life.

“It is good news that 416,310 applicants have been accepted into higher education. However, there is a worrying downward trend happening across the board compared with last year.

“Overall applications are down 2%, and the broader picture for English domiciled students should give us cause for concern. There continues to be big decreases in the number of older students from England – down 10% on last year for those aged 25 or older. This has had a particular impact in nursing, which draws the majority of its applicants from this age group. The impact of the government’s decision to remove bursaries appears to be a decline in the number of students applying to study nursing. It is also worth noting the decline in the number of EU students – down 3% on last year. This is a trend that may well continue as the realities of Brexit become clear.

“The UK is a global leader in the provision of Higher Education and is worth over £10bn to the UK economy and it is in the national interest to ensure that these trends are reversed.

“Higher Education is a transformative experience and we need to ensure that students from all backgrounds are not dissuaded from applying to university. It remains the case that studying at university is one of the best decisions an individual can take to be successful.”


Notes to editors

  1. MillionPlus is the Association for Modern Universities. More information can be found at
  2. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Dan Blows on 020 7717 1658 or email
  3. The UCAS ‘A level results day 2017: statistical release’ can be found here