The number of UK university entrants passed 500,000 for the first time in 2014, according to UCAS admissions service figures. While the gap between entry rates for rich and poor students has narrowed, the gender gap between women and men is the widest ever, with women a third more likely to enter higher education than men.
The admissions figures show a rising trend of increased applications, with 512,400 applicants securing places in UK universities through UCAS in 2014, up nearly 17000. Universities Minister Greg Clark, speaking to BBC, said:”Higher education is a transformational experience and that is why we are the first government to remove the limit on student numbers, lifting the cap on aspiration.”
But within the overall rising numbers, the gap between male and female entrants has become the widest ever. Among 18-year-olds, 34% of women were offered university places, compared with 26% of men. In some constituencies even less go to university – in Bristol South it is only 11% of 18-year-olds.UCAS says the gender gap in entry rates is the equivalent of 32,000 “missing” male students.