These stats show which unis make far more offers than they have places for

After the results day fiasco, calls are growing on unis to honour all the offers they made

Some Russell Group unis make seven offers for every place they have, according to UCAS stats which show how universities over-offer to fill their spaces.

In normal times, this is common across all unis – they want to over-offer to make sure their places get filled and they don’t miss out on fee income. Inevitably, some students will miss their offers, others will opt to go elsewhere, and things turn out alright.

But against calls for unis to show leniency and accept all offer-holders, 2019’s stats show just why that might not be as easy as it sounds. Some unis are giving out seven offers for every place at their uni – meaning if they simply honoured all offers there would be seven times more freshers than usual. Hell.

At the top of the table, Sheffield made eight offers for every placed student in 2019, ahead of Southampton’s 7.5.

Oxford and Cambridge, unsurprisingly, make the fewest offers per place, with Oxford making 1.2 offers per place to Cambridge’s 1.4.

Note: UCAS 2019 end-of-cycle stats, using stats on offers and placed June deadline applicants.

In fact, these stats may also explain why some Oxford and Cambridge colleges are able to come out of the blocks and give places to all offer-holders –  compared to everyone else they wouldn’t have to find that much extra space. Of course, another big factor is that their interview process means they know a great deal about candidates, beyond exam results for exams that didn’t happen.

Beyond Oxbridge, different groups of unis emerge. Those making around 4.5 to five offers per place – Edinburgh, Durham – can perhaps be more confident that students with offers will accept those, so need to make fewer to be sure of filling up. Conversely, the big unis making more than six offers per place – Manchester, Bristol, Leeds – perhaps know students will also hold offers from other unis, so need to hedge their bets. In other words, there won’t be six students clamouring for every place at each of these unis.

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