By Max Clarke

Applications to university saw an increase of 5% from January 2010, to 583,501 marking the 5th consecutive year of full-time undergraduate applicant increase, according to figures released today by UCAS. Of the 583,501 applicants, approximately 43% were male and 57% female.

Commenting on the figures, Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said:

"In a year of unprecedented demand from applicants, we kept our commitment to fund an extra 10,000 student places, allowing more students than ever before to go to an English university in 2010. A strong demand for places was expected this year so universities will be able to recruit the same number of new students in 2011.

"Going to university has always been a competitive process and not all who apply are accepted. Despite this we do understand how frustrating it is for young people who wish to go to university and are unable to find a place. We are opening up other routes into a successful career. Our reforms will make part-time university study more accessible and we are also investing in new apprenticeship places, with an additional 75,000 being created by 2014."