Where Did People Who Turned down The University of Edinburgh End Up Going?


The University of Edinburgh is a world-class institution, set in a lively and bustling city. The University frequently attains high-ranking positions in academic league tables, and usually has a high student satisfaction rate. What isn’t there to like?! The UCAS system works in a way that means students must set a ‘firm’ and ‘insurance’ choice once they have received offers. Some opt to reject Edinburgh. But where do they end up going to in the end? We have the data!


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So much University choice! Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

The statistics used in this article refer to Undergraduate offer holders in the 2017-18 Academic year. All students who had the opportunity to attend Edinburgh have been considered in the statistics. Any student who didn’t ‘firm’ up Edinburgh as their first choice will have been considered to have rejected the University of Edinburgh. The information used in this article comes courtesy of a Freedom of Information request.




It turns out that the most common place to reject the University of Edinburgh for was Durham University. This isn’t too surprising. Logically speaking, Edinburgh acts as a good insurance choice to fall back on from Durham – both are in the north of the United Kingdom, and are held in similar esteem reputation-wise.


Second is University College London (UCL). This is actually the only London-based University in the top ten, and acts as somewhat of a surprise result. The University of Aberdeen is placed third. This was to be expected, given its location in Scotland. The University of Dundee ranked fifth in the list, with again its base in Scotland being likely to cause the rejection.


The University of Bristol ranked 4th, completing the top five. The University of Exeter was 6th. Both Bristol and Exeter are other highly-ranked institutions, but are in the south of England. The rest of Universities (minus UCL) are based either in the north of England or Scotland.


Neither of the Oxbridge Universities were present


We return to Scotland for number seven – with the University of Glasgow rearing its head. As another of Scotland’s top Universities, this was to be expected – and it is arguably surprising that it wasn’t placed higher.


The University of Leeds and University of Manchester sit eighth and ninth in the rankings. This was expected, again given the geographical factor. Finally, the University of St. Andrews rounds off the top ten.


Full Ranks:

  1. Durham University
  2. University College London
  3. University of Aberdeen
  4. University of Bristol
  5. University of Dundee
  6. University of Exeter
  7. University of Glasgow
  8. University of Leeds
  9. University of Manchester
  10. University of St. Andrews




So, some interesting names in there. Many, such as Glasgow, Durham and the Scottish Universities were to be expected. But UCL being so high was a surprise. But for those who did choose Edinburgh to be their main choice, hopefully they made a wise decision!





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