Publication of A-level results in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is set to trigger an unprecedented rush for undergraduate places as around 10,000 more students applied to universities.
However, the number of places available has not increased on last year, meaning thousands are likely to be left disappointed.
Mr Willetts – who will hold a live Q&A on A-level results and Clearing today – insisted that by delivering the same number of university places and boosting the number of apprenticeships available, the Government was doing everything possible to provide teenagers with options on leaving school.
However, he admitted that the system would mean many students would not be able to attend university.
Asked if he would consider creating more places to prevent increasing numbers of young people being forced onto the dole, Mr Willetts told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “There will be people who sadly don’t get places. By and large it is a competitive system, it always has been.