A Level Results Day – How UCAS manages student expectations

Students up and down the country are today finding out their A-level results, and for those applying for a Higher Education course, whether or not they have been accepted by their chosen institution. An emotionally challenging time for a lot of people, including teachers and parents, results day brings with it a raft of different feelings such as optimism, anxiety, joy, relief, and ultimately for some, uncertainty about what lies ahead.

Reports this morning state that the number of students being accepted on to university courses has hit a record high, with the UCAS admissions service revealing a 3% increase over last year's figures, with 409,000 places now confirmed.


The individual students can be forgiven for having a somewhat self-interested perspective on the day, but for UCAS, their responsibility is to make sure that each and every applicant is able to login to check their results, view the status of their applications, and take subsequent actions.

Every year, UCAS processes the applications of over 700,000 students in the UK, who through their system, make over two and a half million choices. On results day, the UCAS system has to deal with over 5 million page views on UCAS.com, and the Track service must be able to adequately support in excess of 1.2 million logins. This is why UCAS looks to the cloud - specifically Microsoft Azure - to provide a robust and resilient system for the students and their information.

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