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Universities aren’t going to risk their contract with ucas for an applicant who didn’t even include them in their top 5 choices.
An education agent mentioned that it is quite common for international applicants to submit both UCAS and direct applications through their agency. I am not saying your replies are wrong, but I was just wondering what would happen to those applicants (and why would the agent ask me to submit directly) and why do the agencies do this? Thank you
They're not interested in what is in the applicant's best interest only in getting their commission from whichever university pays the highest fees.
Some universities might consider an application direct if you have a UCAS application (generally because they're desperate for students so not the best choice) but even they will need a UCAS applicant to decline their other choices and apply to them via UCAS eventually.