Undergraduate applications to University of St Andrews continue to increase


The University of St Andrews has had a 17 per cent jump in applications since the applications made for the 2009-2010 academic year.

Offers made have also increased, from 5,075 for that year to 5,802, marking a 14 per cent increase in the last five years.

The University’s admissions are becoming more competitive, dropping from the 40 per cent acceptance rate of five years ago to 38 per cent today. In that five-year period, the acceptance rate dropped as low as 33 per cent (for 2012-2013).

These five-year comparisons show an interesting quinquennial trend, however. For the 2010-2011 academic year, the University received just under 1,000 more applications than the preceding session, rising from 12,684 to 13,651. This number has increased and, last year, the University received 14,878 applications.

As has been the trend in higher education, more women applied for admission than men each year since 2009-2010 (data was not obtained for years prior). In the most recent UCAS report on admissions for all students, which was on the admittance numbers for 2012-2013, it was noted that an 18-year-old woman was 33 per cent more likely to enter university than a man of the same age. Last year the University received 8,212 applications from females, compared to just 6,666 from males.

The gender gap in applications was not imitated by the acceptance rate. Women had an acceptance rate of 38.5 per cent over the last five year. The average acceptance rate for men, on the other hand, was slightly lower, at 37.4 per cent.

These numbers were also available for ‘home’ applicants, rest of the United Kingdom (‘RUK’), and international students.

The figures for the ‘home’ applicants are broken down into two categories given that, prior to and including the 2011-2012 cycle of applications all UK students, not only those from Scotland, were considered ‘home’ applicants. Since that cycle, only students from Scotland have been considered ‘home’ applicants.

For the ‘home’ applicants prior to the shift, the number of applications jumped from 11,038 to 11,653, and then back down to 10,528. These years yielded acceptance rates of 33.9 per cent, 32.1 per cent and 27.8 per cent respectively.

Following the shift, the acceptance rates for Scottish students plummeted to 18.9 per cent for the 2012-2013 academic year and then climbed back up to 22.6 per cent for the current year.

The acceptance rate for ‘RUK’ students for last year and this year (the only years that ‘RUK’ students have warranted their own category) is exceptionally higher for both years. 38.9 per cent of ‘RUK’ applicants were accepted for last year, and 45.9 per cent this year.

Of those accepted, the numbers differ drastically again when compared to how many students actually enrolled at the University. For the last two years, when Scottish students have been differentiated from students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Scottish student have been at least 10 per cent more likely to actually attend St Andrews.

For Scottish students last year, 41.8 per cent accepted their offer. The same year, students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland had a near 15 per cent difference, with only 27.8 per cent of student accepting their place. This year, 37.8 per cent of Scottish students accepted their offer, and only 24.8 per cent of ‘RUK’ students did.

This may be due to the increase in tuition fees to £9,000 in 2012. A St Andrews degree is one of the most expensive in the UK for RUK students because of a combination of a four year degree programme and high living costs.

International applicants were yet more likely to be accepted by the University. For the last five acceptance cycles, international students at St Andrews have had an average acceptance rate of 72.8 per cent, with the highest rate of 80.9 per cent for the 2009-2010 academic year and the lowest rate of 63.4 per cent for last year, 2012-2013.


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