The best advice for entry into UK universities requires expert knowledge and understanding of a complex process. However, the impact of Covid upon the 2022 application cohort makes this landscape even more complex and is explained below:

The UCAS landscape was exceptionally crowded this in 2022:

  • 610,720 UCAS applications were received.
  • The 2022 cohort application rate was up by over 2%.
  • 14% of 2021 students have reapplied.
  • Undergraduate applications from outside the EU rose by over 12% to a record 111,410 (54,030 placed) - an increase of 2% over the previous year. China was the largest market - 30,845 applicants (16,310 placed), followed by India - 11,075 applicants (4,600 placed).

Due to all of the above:

  • UCAS indicated that it was unlikely that students would receive all 5 offers due to this increased demand.
  • UCAS therefore advised students to effectively research and apply realistically prior to submitting their applications on 26th January 2022.
  • Lower universities were quick to offer, to fill places early. However, unconditional offers remain a very real concern for teaching staff, causing low performing students to lose academic focus because of the firm offer they hold.
  • Top universities were slow to offer places, due to increased competition and concerns of UK A Level grade inflation through Teacher/Centre Assessed Grades (TAGs/CAGs).
  • Medical subject offers were also slow to offer, again due increased applications but also due to concerns about grade inflation.
  • Because of this, UCAS encourage students to have solid back up offers.

Examination information for 2022 and 2023.

  • In 2021, A-level results were a record high with 44.8% getting A* or A grades. In 2020, the figure was 38.5%. Therefore, the proportion getting top A* and A grades has risen by almost 75% since the last time conventional exams were taken in 2019. In 2019 top grades were 25%.
  • The UK Government have confirmed that 2022 GCSE and A Level / BTec summer exams will take place for the first time in three years.
  • To prevent disadvantage to this “Covid exam cohort”, grades will be modeled to fall halfway between the 2019 and 2021 figures (2019 was the last year exams were sat, while 2021 was the second year of TAGs and CAGs).
  • The 2022 exam cohort will receive notice of exam topics in some subjects to aid revision.
  • Therefore, a drop in exam results is to be expected in 2023, when results will be modeled on 2019 data going forward.

Overseas students:

  • UCAS surveys conducted throughout the pandemic show 77% of students applied because of the UK’s strong academic reputation. Over half (53%) said the UK’s diversity, multicultural experience and welcome they would receive were key reasons they applied.
  • A UK government policy paper reveals a strong desire to attract overseas students to strengthen a “Global Britain” agenda. The UK has a deal with the European Union, based on friendly co-operation. The Turing scheme is backed by over £100 million, providing funding for around 35,000 students. From September 2021, similar numbers of students will come to the UK in return.


What Can Education Advisers Provide?

  • Education Advisers Ltd has a multitude of written and video resources which are free to view or download. We also have a university consultant with 35+ years experience, who heads up our university advice service and can provide comprehensive bespoke packages, or one-off services as required.
  • Please contact Steven, our Senior Educational Consultant, at / +44(0)1622 813870 to discuss how Education Advisers Ltd can support your pathway to university.