A total of 425,830 people have had places confirmed – down 2 per cent on the same point last year, according to data published by the university admissions service.
In 2021, a record 435,430 people, from the UK and overseas, had places confirmed.
This year’s figure is the second highest on record, and up 16,870 compared with 2019 when exams were last held.
Ucas said 19 per cent more 18-year-olds in the UK achieved a place at either their first or insurance choice this year, compared with 2019.
The number of students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds to gain places on courses is 6,850 this year, up by 3,770 in 2019.
The admissions service said this translates to a narrowing of the gap between the most and least advantaged, with the ratio at 2.36 in 2019, 2.29 this year, and 2.34 in 2021.