Almost 33,000 of the 205,000 applicants across the UK who achieved minimum qualifications for university entrance last year did not go on to higher education. A survey by the Cheltenham-based Universities and Colleges Admissions Service showed that 85 per cent did not receive a place, and many intended to reapply.
Half of those surveyed have taken a year out to earn money to finance further study. But many of those who declined offers did so because they wanted to rethink their career path or study for better qualifications.
UCAS also found that applicants who are under 21, white, or from higher social classes are less likely to study in their home region.