And 9,084 students have gained places through clearing - the process that matches students who are not holding offers, or who have missed their grades, to vacant courses.
Concerns have been raised this year that changes to the admissions system could leave bright students chasing for spare places.
Under a new admissions system, there is now no limit on the number of students with two As and a B at A-level that universities can recruit.
But it means universities are likely to have less flexibility to admit students who just miss this standard as there is still a strict cap on those who score less than AAB.
Mary Curnock Cook, Ucas chief executive, said: "The combination of fewer applicants and the lifting of number controls for higher achieving candidates means there are many more courses with vacancies in clearing this year. We expect the overall acceptance rate for applicants to rise."