This year, two significant factors are shaping the university clearing process in the UK. The dip in the birth rate in the early 2000s has resulted in a lower number of 18-year-olds compared to previous years, while universities want to recruit an increased number of students. This implies that students, even those who have accepted an offer, should consider shopping around. They may have changed their minds about their course or institution choice now that summer is here and may think they could have aimed higher. Ultimately, the decision is theirs to make.
60,000 students accessed universities through clearing last year, breaking previous records. Universities now run open days and advertise vacancies well ahead of A-level results day on August 15. This year, clearing began on July 5.
Mary Curnock-Cook, former CEO of UCAS, believes that while some selective courses at Russell Group institutions will still be in high demand, there will be plenty of availability in clearing. Applicants can afford to be selective this year due to universities scrambling for applicants rather than applicants searching for places.
For students from disadvantaged backgrounds, this is particularly positive news. Although Cambridge will appear in clearing for the first time this year, applications are only open to the poorest students in the UK. Edinburgh is also offering all its places in clearing to students from Scotland’s most deprived regions.
For students who did not attain their grades, there are plenty of excellent courses available. Hope Clay Belsham, who missed out on a spot at Nottingham, got admission into Nottingham Trent University’s animal science course through clearing last year. She has discovered that she prefers NTU’s assessment structure to a research-intensive university like Nottingham.
To prepare early, students should have a list of the universities they meet the grade requirements for and begin calling the moment they receive their results, according to Emma Leech, marketing director at Loughborough University. Leech suggests that confident students are less susceptible to aggressive marketing tactics, such as offers of free laptops, from universities hoping to fill the remaining spots.
While some students may be hesitant to start university because of the government’s tuition fee investigation, waiting for a year can be risky. Curnock-Cook cautions to beware of the political shenanigans that may create uncertainties concerning the timing of these potential changes. Instead, students should take advantage of the opportunity to explore their most inspiring subjects. When choosing a course, students must read about all the modules available to ensure they are comfortable with them as they will be studying these subjects in-depth for three years.
The critical dates to keep in mind are:
– August 15: A-level results day. While pupils who haven’t received any offers have already been looking for programs, this day is when pupils who missed their grades can enter clearing. Adjustment also opens for students who received better results than expected.
– August 31: The deadline for submitting additional information to meet offer conditions.
– September 4: Applications open for UCAS courses starting in 2020 for students who want to take a gap year and defer entry.
– September 20: All applications for UCAS courses starting in 2019 must be received by 6 p.m. today.
– October 15: The deadline for 2020 applications to Oxford and Cambridge, and most courses in medicine, veterinary medicine/science and dentistry.
The deadline for applications to undergraduate courses starting in 2020 is approaching on January 15th. To make the clearing process easier, there are several steps that can be taken in advance.
Firstly, it is recommended to prepare by researching courses with available vacancies on university websites and Ucas. By registering interest early, one can avoid the rush on results day. Additionally, it is important to reflect on previous university choices and consider if they are still appealing. Gathering module marks and GCSE results, as well as reviewing personal statements can be helpful when making a list of possible courses.
Taking notes is also crucial during the clearing process. Specific course details such as teaching methods, internships, and content should be recorded while thinking clearly. Signing up for alerts from Ucas direct contact service is another great way to receive information about available courses.
Considering alternatives such as a gap year or apprenticeships can also provide more options for applicants. Exploring campuses and gathering information about the cost of living can help with decision-making.
On the day of results, it is important to seek support from trusted individuals such as parents or teachers. Checking Ucas Track at 8am can indicate acceptance by firm or insurance choices. Universities sometimes accept students who are off by a grade, so it’s worth double checking with them personally. After collecting results and logging in to Ucas Track, browsing availability and making calls can help with finding vacancies.
It is important to take one’s time and make the right decision when accepting an offer. Universities usually give two to three days to decide and a final single choice should be entered in Ucas Track. By following these steps and staying organized with notes, the clearing process can be made easier.