According to annual entry figures from Ucas, women are 35 per cent more likely to go to university than men are.
This represents the widest ever gap between the number of male and female students attending university, and for overall student numbers, a record high of 532,300 students started university courses in the UK this autumn, a rise of 3 per cent compared to last year.
This is likely due to the limit on student numbers being abolished, with entry rates indicating students were accepted into the best universities with lower grades than they would have needed last year to successfully obtain a place.
The figures found that the most likely people to go to university are women, people living in London, people from more affluent families, and those from non-white ethnic groups. Poor, white males are the least likely to go to university.
There were significant variations across the country. People living in the North East and South West, aged 18 years old, were 40 per cent less likely to go to university compared to those living in London.
“We have previously highlighted the unacceptably large and widening gap between entry rates for men and women, and this year shows young men, and especially young white men, falling even further behind,” said Mary Curnock Cook, chief of Ucas.
Jo Johnson, the universities minister, said: “Students from disadvantaged backgrounds are now almost a third more likely to enter higher education than five years ago, but we have much more work to do.”