Every year, in the middle of August, we congratulate young people across the UK for their A-level results. That day's media is packed with stories of success and failure. There is the usual debate about whether the exams are getting easier or harder, coupled with mountains of footage of students opening envelopes and photos of despair and elation. The following day we all go back to normal. Until next year.
This week, the pressure is on for students to find a place and for universities to win them over. But after the mad rush to bring in last minute recruits will come the even bigger challenge; to compete successfully over the long term in a marketplace with more players and more competition than ever before.