According to the latest results, around 170,000 applicants will miss a university place as the number of applicants increased by 11.6% last year. This year universities have seen a record number of applicants willing to study at English universities, still there is a government cap on places. If student numbers exceed the cap, universities will be fined. Almost 8,000 extra places mainly in math and sciences will be available for full-time undergraduates. Thousands of students with necessary marks will be disappointed this year as the number of those who are likely not to enter universities has increased from 100,000 the normal year up to 170,000 this year.
Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of vice-chancellors' group Universities UK, wrote in his essay: "Applicants may have to be more flexible in their choices than in previous years. Despite the increased competition, there will still be places available through the clearing process." This year the number of people over 40 has risen by 23% and the number of women – up to 12%, male applicants – by a tenth. Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union (UCU), consider it a shame that thousands of applicants will be rejected to get higher education this year.
There is a concern that in result of such a sharp refusal that nearly 170,000 applicants are likely to get, a "lost generation" of students would be created. Professor Les Ebdon, chair of the thinktank million+, said: "It will be a tragic waste of talent if highly qualified students miss out on a university place in 2010." The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said that entering a university was always a competitive process still there is a necessity to find more places as the graduates have both economic and social contribution.