University Acceptance Rates

UK Universities With the Low Acceptance Rates for Admissions

The most competitive British Universities to get enrolled in are discussed in this article for the academic enrollment for the class of 2023. So, are you aspiring to earn your higher secondary educational degrees from renowned research centers in the United Kingdom?

If so, then you must know that world-class universities are usually the ones that are highly selective when it comes to offering admissions to students.

And so, to seek admissions to these universities, you need to have all the necessary information about these universities, which will not only help you in preparing your documents for applications but will also be a guiding factor in preparing substitute plans. 

But visiting different websites for compiling all the related data and listing it down is quite tedious, isn’t it? Worry not, as we are here to lessen the burden for you. In this article, we have compiled a list of the 10 most prestigious universities in the UK along with their acceptance rates and the percentage of international students studying in each university.

So, without further ado, let’s quickly jump on to the first university on our list.

List of Universities in the UK with the Lowest Acceptance Rates:-

The acceptance rates in UK universities range from reasonably high, approximately 89% to insanely low ranging at only 8%, and vary on the basis of many factors including the degree programs being applied to and the physical capacities of the universities. The most selective universities in the United Kingdom are listed below, starting with the one with the lowest annual acceptance rate.

#1 University of St. Andrews Acceptance Rate: 8%

Rejection rate: 92%.

The University of St. Andrews is the 3rd oldest university in the United Kingdom, following the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. This makes it easy to understand why the university has such a low acceptance rate.

International students at the University of St. Andrews:

The university also accepts a considerable number of international students from over 130 countries of the world. The estimated number of international students enrolled in the university is over 9,000 which constitutes around 45% of the total student strength at the University of St. Andrews.

#2 University of Cambridge Acceptance Rate: 11%

Rejection rate: 89%.

Next in line is the world-famous research institute, the University of Cambridge. Due to its insane popularity, the applications received by the management at every opening session exceed tens of thousands in number. Thus, the university has to be extremely critical in shortlisting candidates for final selections. 

International students at the University of Cambridge:

Out of the 22,000 students that study at the University of Cambridge, more than 6,000 are international students from over 150 different countries. This makes the approximate percentage of international students studying at Cambridge University slightly over 25%.

#3 University College London Acceptance Rate: 11%

Rejection rate: 89%

Competing with the University of Cambridge in terms of its acceptance rate, the University College London admits students from around the world, regardless of their nationalities and religious backgrounds. However, this trait does not mean that the university is any less selective than the University of Cambridge. Out of every 100 applications received per admission session, the university accepts only 11 students, ensuring that every selected candidate is the best of all the other applicants.

International students at the University College London:

Out of the 35,000 students enrolled at the University College London, approximately 18,000 are international. This means that almost 14% of the entire undergraduate and 35% of the postgraduate students enrolled at the UCL are international.

#4 University of Edinburgh Acceptance Rate: 12%

Rejection rate: 88%

Despite the fact that the University of Edinburgh comprises five magnificent campuses, the total enrolled strength at the university is only 36,000. This proves that the University of Edinburgh is an extremely selective institute and has a highly critical examination procedure at every level of its admissions.

International students at the University of Edinburgh:

Out of the 23,000 undergraduate students and 13,000 postgraduate students currently studying at the University of Edinburgh, nearly 13,500 students are international and accumulate a little over 30% of the entire student population.

#5 London School of Economics Acceptance Rate: 12%

Rejection rate: 88%

Next on our list of the 10 UK Universities with the lowest acceptance rates, we have the London School of Economics. Commonly known as the LSA, the London School of Economics has extremely tedious educational requirements for granting admissions. In 2018, the university admitted only 790 students despite receiving over 6,500 applications.

International students at the London School of Economics:

The London School of Economics has the second-highest proportion of international students in the world; at 70%.  Out of the 12,000 students currently enrolled at the LSE, approximately 8,000 are international making up 68% of the total student population.

#6 University of Warwick Acceptance Rate: 13%

Rejection rate: 87%

Securing 12th place amongst the most prestigious universities in the United Kingdom, the University of Warwick is the fastest developing project than any other university on this list. The university gained an indissoluble reputation not only in the UK but elsewhere in the world.

In the latest admission session, the University of Warwick received more than 23,000 applications but the number of enrolled students was no more than 3,000.

International students at the University of Warwick:

The University of Warwick has a current approximate number of international students from over 150 countries enrolled 10,500.

#7 Imperial College London Acceptance Rate: 14%

Rejection rate: 86%

Established under the royal charter, the Imperial College London is one of the most highly selective institutes in the United Kingdom. The university has a number of laureates associated with its name and is consistent in making its name to the list of world university rankings. In 2018, the Imperial College London received around 8,500 applications out of which only 1,260 were processed further.

International students at the Imperial College London:

The Imperial College London provides quality education to students from over 140 countries worldwide. As of the academic year 2023, the university had a total strength of 19,400 students out of which 60% were international.

#8 University of Durham Acceptance Rate: 17%

Rejection rate: 83%

The University of Durham has very high academic standards for enrolling students, making it one of the hardest UK universities to get into. Nevertheless, the University of Durham enables students to test their limits and develop the abilities of leadership, critical thinking, and innovative research to excel in their careers. 

International students at the University of Durham:

The total student population at the University of Durham is approximately 20,000, of which 30% comprise of the international student population.

#9 University of Oxford Acceptance Rate: 17%

Rejection rate: 83%

The University of Oxford is the 2nd most prestigious universities in the world according to the QS World University Rankings 2023. So, it can undoubtedly be said that the University of Oxford is extremely decisive when it comes to selecting students for granting admissions.

In the year that passed, more than 45,000 students competed for only 8,800 seats. So, to get into the University of Oxford, you have to be no less genius than Einstein himself.

International students at the University of Oxford:

One third of the students enrolled at the University of Oxford are of foreign nationalities.

#10 University of Strathclyde Acceptance Rate: 20%

Rejection rate: 80%

The University of Strathclyde is the first-ever technological institute in the history of UK universities. It has the third-largest student body in Scotland, but has extremely tedious admission requirements. These requirements vary as per the degree programs being applied.

International students at the University of Strathclyde:

The international students studying at the University of Strathclyde belong from over 100 foreign countries and exceed 23,000 in number.

Now that you all the necessary details about the top 10 UK universities that have the lowest acceptance rates, you are all set to start working on your applications. Good luck!

Yousaf Saeed

I'm Dr. Engr. Yousaf Saeed, founder of the AScholarship Education Portal. My academic path includes 3 prestigious international scholarships — Australia Awards, CSC, and HKPFS — for my higher studies. I am also an IChemE affiliate whereas I've also worked for companies like Aramco and BYCO oil refinery as an production engineer at the start of my career. I completed MS, and PhD with major research publications in leading SCI journals (details on my Researchgate Profile). This reflects my commitment to educating and therefore i started it for the purpose to guide aspiring international students for find scholarships for their higher education dream. As an experienced educator and mentor, I specialize in navigating the intricacies of research and patent and write useful articles on these topics too.

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