A-level results day 2021

10 August 2021

As students across the UK receive their A-level and Higher results today, Dr Tim Bradshaw, Chief Executive of the Russell Group, said:

“I want to congratulate all students receiving their A-level and Higher results today. They should be very proud of their efforts and achievements especially given the difficult circumstances this year and we look forward to welcoming a record number of them to our universities this autumn.

“I would also like to thank all of the teachers who have, once again, worked tirelessly to support their students to succeed.

“There has been unprecedented demand for places this year, but over the next few weeks Russell Group universities will be working hard to accommodate as many students as possible. However, our universities also need to ensure every student gets the high-quality teaching and learning experience they quite rightly expect from us. Unfortunately, this means that on some courses our universities may not be able to accept students who narrowly missed their offer grades this time. Places may also be limited on some courses where clinical placement demand is significantly higher than normal. Where students are unsure of their options, they should contact their university directly.

“To meet additional rising demand on top of the demographic increase in 18-year-olds expected over the next decade, we are asking the Government to prioritise long-term sustainable funding for teaching on a per student basis to guarantee quality and student choice can be maintained. The funding available to universities for teaching has been eroded significantly over time and we hope the Government will look to address this in the autumn Spending Review.”


 - UCAS data released on 10 August shows 245,330 18-year-olds across the UK have been placed on courses, this is a 17% increase compared to the number placed at the same point in the cycle in 2020. The increase is even higher, 29%, at higher tariff universities. 

 - UCAS June 30 deadline data showed a 4% increase in offers this year by higher tariff universities to UK 18-years-olds compared to the same time in 2020. Notably, this increase was higher, 12%, for those students from the most disadvantaged areas (POLAR4 quintile 1). 

 - The Office for Students (OfShas estimated that the real terms value of the fee has fallen 17% since 2012/13, while OfS funding for teaching per full-time equivalent student (FTE) has declined by 19.3% since 2018/19. 

 - UCAS has predicted that the number of applicants to university is expected to rise from around 700,000 a year to more than a million by 2025. 

 - While the number of UK 18 year olds has been declining since 2009, ONS data shows that from 2021 the number of 18 year olds is set to increase, and between 2020 and 2030 this number will increase by 25%. 

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