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Is Clearing For Those Not Good Enough For Uni?

Clearing is a process offered from results day (August 18) until  September 20 2016 – but some question – is clearing for those not good enough for uni?

Universities can now offer as many places as they like and lots of you are finding that it is easier to get offers because universities are competing to attract students.  A survey of nearly 6½ thousand young people by The Student Room found that there was an increase in the number of students being accepted to university courses with lower grades.

Many are also finding that offers made during clearing are even lower than those made during the usual application process. In fact, the survey found that 81% of students plan to check clearing vacancies to see what offers are available.

What is clearing?

Clearing is the system used by universities and colleges to fill vacant places on their courses, as well as offering a chance for students who did not submit their application by the deadline of 30th June or may not have got the grades they hoped for to find an alternative course.  This year the clearing process in England will begin on the 18th August (a little earlier in Scotland) and we have a full guide to both clearing and adjustment for you to read.

The education community manager at website The Student Room, Hannah Morrish noted,

Students have picked up on the increase in offers that are lowered on results day which is making them question the value and honesty of the offers they’re receiving […]Some students are asking their teachers to predict higher grades so they can apply to higher tariff universities that are known to discount offers at the last minute.”

How many people use clearing?

The number of people that went through clearing in 2015 was 64,300, 3,000 more than the year before, making it the highest number of students ever placed on courses through clearing. However, such is the lottery with clearing that many students want to see it abolished and for them to simply be able to reapply in September with their grades.

Is Clearing for stupid people?

Furthermore, many students say they would feel embarrassed to admit they had gone through clearing to find their course, with 48% saying they would fear being seen as stupid or inferior by their peers.

With 19% of students saying that they think that clearing is ‘for people who are desperate to still get into university’ it is perhaps little surprise that Ms. Morrish said for many students,

clearing reinforces that, despite their best efforts, they weren’t good enough and missed the goal they’ve been working towards over the last year. […] That can be really disheartening” noting,

Universities and schools must work together to reassure students about clearing.”

Of course, the flip side of this is that clearing is a process not just entered into on results day when the grades you get aren’t as good as you expected – it’s also standard practice for those who don’t submit their application in time and also for many of you who perhaps were thinking that you would not go to university who then find that actually you have got pretty good results and want to give uni a go after all – so it’s not all doom and gloom and clearing certainly isn’t for those not good enough for uni.

About Lynette Daly

Lynette is the publishing editor of Moving On magazine. Moving On is devoted to helping young people make good choices for their future – education, qualifications and careers. Moving On really wants to motivate you! Our articles cover a range of topics to inspire and give ideas. Our magazines are delivered free to all schools, colleges and sixth forms in England and is also available online.

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