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Number of women heading to university outstripping men as gap widens

More women are going to university than men in the UK. Credit: PA

Teenage girls are a third more likely to go to university than boys, according to new figures.

Nearly 30,000 more women than men are set to embark on degree courses this autumn, statistics from Ucas reveal.

The latest numbers show that the gap between male and female students has reached record levels.

As of Friday morning, 133,280 UK 18-year-old women had secured a university place, compared with 103,800 UK men the same age.

Fresh data has already showed that around 6,600 fewer students overall have been placed on courses this year compared with the same point in 2016.

More than 482,000 students have secured a university place this year. Credit: PA

The 30,000-strong gap between men and women this year is the largest difference recorded at this point of the admissions cycle, according to Ucas.

Its analysis shows that across the UK, 27.3% of all young men are expected to go to university this year, compared with 37.1% of young women.

It means that as of this point - just over a week after A-levels were published - 18-year-old women are 36% more likely to start degree courses this autumn than their male peers of the same age.

Last year they were 35% more likely to enter higher education and five years ago they were 31% more likely.

Ucas suggests that one factor contributing to the gender difference is nursing, with a 9% increase in UK 18-year-olds placed on nursing courses this year.

Women significantly outnumber men for these degrees, with around 28 women recruited for every man.