UCAS: South Belfast has highest university entry rate in Northern Ireland

By Robbie Meredith
BBC News NI Education Correspondent

Published
Image source, PA
Image caption, The figures for each parliamentary constituency have been released by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)

Eighteen-year-olds from South Belfast were almost twice as likely to enter university in 2015 as those from North Belfast, according to annual figures.

The figures for each parliamentary constituency have been released by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

They show that 39.4% of 18-year-olds living in South Belfast were accepted to universities this year.

That compares to 21.1% of those living in the North Belfast constituency.

South Belfast is the constituency with the highest entry rate in Northern Ireland, while North Belfast has the lowest.

UCAS calculated the total number of 18-year-olds in each constituency, and how many had been accepted to university.

'Risen steadily'

The figures show that just over a third of 18-year-olds living in Northern Ireland (33.5%) were accepted to universities in 2015.

Among the parliamentary constituencies with above average entry rates are South Down (39.3%), East Antrim (38.8%) and North Antrim (38.6%).

East Belfast (28.1%), South Antrim (29.1%) and Fermanagh and South Tyrone (29.5%) were among the constituencies below the Northern Ireland average.

In West Belfast, 24.6% of 18-year-olds went to university in 2015.

However, the percentage of young people in the constituency going to university has risen steadily over the last decade.

In 2006, for example, only 17.8% of 18-year-olds living in the area went to university.

UCAS produces data on university entry rates for each of the UK's 650 parliamentary constituencies.

However, they do not speculate on the reasons for the varying entry rates.

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