This is not your usual January deadline.

Literally so. For 2021 applicants were given an extra two weeks to complete their UCAS forms – a 15 January deadline in other years was a 29 January deadline for 2021. So we need to be careful in comparing this data with previous years.

But because I am about to do that I’ll offer a caveat. In a regular year nearly all 18 year olds apply by the January deadline – more than four in every five mainstream applicants do so too. This was also true in 2021.