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Record numbers accepted on to university courses

The amount of students receiving an A grade at A-Level has fallen for the second year in a row. Just over a quarter of exam entries were given A or A* grades, down 0.3 per cent on 2012.

But despite this a record number of students getting their results have been accepted on to university courses. The figure's up nine per cent from last year. While there was a drop in students receiving top grades, the overall A* to E pass rate has risen slightly by 0.1% compared to last year.

Hundreds of thousands of teenagers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are picking up their grades today. One of them is Stephanie Forbes and she told Premier's Des Busteed on the News Hour why she didn't enjoy revising:

Universities Minister David Willetts welcomes the slight dip in those achieving top grades.

He said:

"I think A-Levels are an incredibly valuable qualification, we wanted get off the automatic escalator; the assumption that every year more and more people would get an A-star."

The university admissions service, UCAS, says nearly 386 thousand people will be going on to higher education - that's 30,000 more than were accepted last year. But Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg believes more needs to be done.

He said:

"Still there are far too few young people from the very poorset families going on to university. 

"It varies from one school to another, one local area to another but that should be a big priority for us."

Lee Jackson is a Christian motivational speaker who works in business and education. He tells Premier why students should be choosing their next move cautiously:

Today's results show more students are opting to do A-Levels in maths and science and there is a continued fall in those taking French and German. Education experts are warning there is a "worrying" gender divide in the subjects chosen by pupils. Figures show girls are significantly more likely to opt for English and Psychology while boys choose Physics and Maths.

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