The number of people applying to start university in September is on the rise.
Figures released by UCAS show that applications are up by 0.8 per cent compared to the same time last year.
Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, said there is likely to be a repeat of last year, which saw thousands of young people left without a place in higher education.
"Our fear is that this year, the situation will be much worse for many of those young people who lose out, as the huge increase in tuition fees from 2012 will effectively mean it's their final chance to get a degree without incurring intolerable debt," she commented.
Ms Hunt added that the government has refused to invest in extra places, despite the fact studies show that increasing access to education is not a drain on resources.
The union represents more than 120,000 education professionals.
Posted by Katy Kearns