Student applicants hit by rise in demand

TOP universities across the UK have increased entry requirements after huge demand for places this year.

The move means thousands of teenagers could face rejection when, under the old entry requirements, they might have won a place.

Nineteen of Britain's top 20 universities have increased the A-grades required to study popular subjects, in a bid to restrict student numbers.

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In England university places have been frozen and institutions warned they will be fined if they over-recruit.

A record number of students achieved a place at university this year after soaring applications, statistics show.

Figures published by university admissions body Ucas showed that the number finding a place through the clearing system more than doubled.

In 2008, 9,263 people found a place through clearing, while in 2009 22,599 used the route.

It is thought the boom in applications is due to a lack of school leavers' jobs and older people returning to university in the recession.

The Russell Group, which represents the top 20 universities in the UK, said there were nine or ten people chasing every place, compared with eight in previous years.

Glasgow University applicants who previously needed an ABB at A-level now require AAB.

The number of Scottish students studying north of the Border leapt by 11.7 per cent last year, up from 22,279 to 24,859, according to Ucas.

In Scotland, the number of students aged over 25 rose by 21.4 per cent – higher than the UK figure of 19.5 per cent.

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