A total of 357,915 students have already been accepted onto university courses this year, down 6.95 percent on 2011.
The figuresalso show that around 79,000 UK applicants are still awaiting decisions, and that more than 10,000 people have applied for places through clearing.
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Conservative Ben Bradley admitted his claims were 'wholly untrue and false', and pledged a 'significant' donation to charity.
Turning bitterly cold into next week with freezing temperatures by day and night
It comes as 22 charities signed an open letter vowing to improve safeguarding, and apologising for 'failures' in the sector.