UCAS has reported the 'busiest ever' start to Clearing following the announcement of record A-level passes.
With a new server recently installed, UCAS has confirmed 221,109 places so far, almost 30,000 more than at the same point last year.
The number of people awaiting decisions from higher education institutions is 121,529 - significantly lower than last year, due to an increase in the number of confirmed places, and the successful publication of this year's Scottish Highers results.
There have also been more than 220,000 course searches on the UCAS website, www.ucas.com - last year at the same time there had been 160,000.
The website holds details of over 42,000 higher education courses with vacancies.
This year UCAS introduced a new web-based enquiry service enabling applicants to check the status of their offers and, if eligible for Clearing, to find out their Clearing Entry Number.
The enquiry service is already proving popular with over 32,000 applicants logging on in the first two hours.
At the same time the UCAS helpline - 01242 227788 - had received almost 5,000 calls from applicants anxious to find out if they had secured a place at university or college.
A total of 425,671 people have applied through UCAS so far compared to 415,747 at the same point last year. To date 78,732 people have not met the conditions of their offers or have applied late and go into Clearing immediately.
Clearing entry forms are sent automatically from UCAS as applicants become eligible.
UCAS chief executive Tony Higgins said: 'First of all, UCAS would like to congratulate everyone on their achievement. We should be very proud of the abilities of our young people.
'The UCAS system has yet again run smoothly, the computer upgrade has worked brilliantly and we have delivered a quality service …