University of Sussex acceptances up for eighth consecutive year, UCAS figures show

Business, computing, engineering and social sciences report record numbers

The University of Sussex is one of only two universities in Britain to report an uninterrupted year-on-year increase in new undergraduate students for the past eight years, as reported today (Wednesday 21 January) by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).  

Figures show, despite fierce competition between universities to attract new students, Sussex has seen the number of undergraduates admitted rise by 45 per cent between 2006 and 2014.  This compares to a national increase of around 31 per cent.

Rob Evans, University of Sussex’s Head of Admissions, said: “The popularity of Sussex is proving resilient in what continues to be a tough competitive environment. We believe the quality of our courses, and our beautiful campus location on the edge of Brighton, has proved a winning combination.”

The UCAS figures show Sussex has consistently increased the number of offers it converts into acceptances, while, at the same time, admitting the brightest of students and an increasing cohort of First-Generation Scholars*.

Rob Evans said: “It’s not only our numbers that have increased over the years; the quality of those admitted has also improved, with increasing offer levels and higher average grades on entry. We’re delighted to attract so many excellent students to Sussex.”

The University is in the third year of its Sussex Choice programme, which makes it easier for Sussex students to tailor their experience at university by choosing modules and pathways from other disciplines, studying abroad and undertaking professional placements. Sussex Choice enables many students on single honours degrees to individualise their course of study.

Professor Clare Mackie, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning), said: “We don’t believe in gimmicks to entice students. Undergraduates come to us because of our strong reputation in high-quality teaching and our vast flexibility of subject combinations, which are rarely available across the sector to single honours students.

“Students also have access to services that can often help to give them an advantage over other graduates when looking for jobs.  As part of Sussex Choice, they’re able to go overseas and study as well as gain valuable experience through our dedicated work-placement and summer-internship schemes.”

Latest HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) data confirm 96 per cent of Sussex graduates were in work or further study six months after gaining their first degree, ranking the University of Sussex fourth in the UK for this measure in 2014.

Notes for editors

University of Sussex press office contacts: James Hakner, Peta Fluendy and Jacqui Bealing –, 01273 678888.

First-Generation Scholars

The University of Sussex’s innovative First-Generation Scholars scheme provides support for students with no family background of higher education or from lower income backgrounds. The scholarship has a generous financial element worth £5,000-8,000 for students whose family income is less than £42,600. This includes the option of a £50 a week rent reduction in the first year, bringing our cheapest campus rent down to around £35 a week. Those on the scheme who are not eligible for the financial support benefit from a comprehensive package of measures – such as funded internships and study mentors - to help them get the most out of university life and acquire the ‘social capital’ that will help with future employability.

By: James Hakner
Last updated: Wednesday, 21 January 2015