More than a third of the first cohort of T Level students have applied for university, new UCAS data shows.
Around 1,300 students signed up to the first T Level courses launched in September 2020, with those learners graduating this summer and due to find out their results on August 18.
Data published by the universities admissions body today revealed that 490 T Level students have applied for higher education courses – 38 per cent.
Today’s data also reveals that record numbers of students from disadvantaged areas of the UK have applied for university courses.
UCAS said the application rate for 18-year-olds in the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods is 29 per cent, compared to 27 per cent last year and 10 percentage points higher than 2013, meaning more than 38,000 students from disadvantaged areas have applied this year.
New minister for skills, further education and higher education Andrea Jenkyns said: “It is fantastic to see a record number of 18-year-olds from the most disadvantaged areas applying for university – this is real levelling up in action and a catalyst for genuine social mobility.
“This year also marks a key milestone for T Levels and it is encouraging that so many students have applied for higher education.”
T Level students will find out if they are accepted for their higher education places on or after results day.
The first T Level graduates will be across three courses launched in 2020 – education and childcare, digital, and construction.
One of the questions T Levels has raised is how many universities will accept the qualification. An FE Week investigation in January found that less than half of UK universities had committed to accepting the new qualifications just two weeks before UCAS’ deadline.
The government’s published list now indicates that 127 universities will accept at least one T Level, although that list does not make clear which courses each accepts.
Kevin Gilmartin, post-16 specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “We are watching the number of T Level students who end up in university with real interest. If T Level students are going to end up in university in large numbers, and not in further technical training, then it brings into question why BTECs are being defunded.
“After all, the government’s main argument for scrapping BTECs in order to introduce T Levels, is that too many BTEC students end up in university rather than technical training. The government can’t have it both ways.”
Earlier this month the government closed an appeals process for awarding bodies to challenge the defunding of specific BTEC and level 3 courses which are under threat because they clash with the new T Levels.
Gilmartin added that he was pleased there were record number of disadvantaged student applications to HE, which was a reflection of support by schools and colleges, and hoped it would translate into offers and acceptances.