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Surprising news on applicant acceptances, an OfS departure, views on PhDs and support for internships

Today we have no choice but to open with the quite remarkable news that according to UCAS (which we quote directly here, just so you can be sure there has been no confusion): “There are currently more applicants holding a firm offer to start a course this autumn than at the equivalent point last year, and fewer people accepting an offer for a deferred place.”

After sending a five-word response to the UCAS press officer (“You sure about that, mate?”), Playbook asked our correspondent Fiona McIntyre to look at the numbers, which show that despite the feverish level of concern in UK universities that their 2020-21 intake was set to be decimated by the potential impact of the coronavirus on teaching, 1 per cent more undergraduate applicants have accepted an offer to start studying at university or college immediately compared with last year.

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