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Ucas clearing not fit for purpose, claim students

More than half of all students want to see the Ucas clearing system abolished. A survey of 6,300 students found that the majority view the process in a negative light, reveals a survey conducted by university website and forum The Student Room.

60% of students would like to see the end of clearing, whilst 52% believe that clearing has a bad reputation.

Further statistics on the system indicate that 48% of those who attained a university place through clearing that they would not tell their peers the route they took to university in fear of being perceived “stupid” or “inferior”. Moreover, 19% said that clearing is “for people who are desperate to still get into university”.

A change to the Ucas clearing system would have a significant impact upon many prospective students. According to Ucas, in 2015, 64,300 students were given a university place through clearing in 2015, 12% of the total student intake. The figure also represents a 5% increase from the previous year in 2014.

The system allows students seeking a university place for that year a second chance if they didn’t quite make the grades for their firm or insurance choices. The system also allows prospective students to apply for a different course should they have a change of heart.

[su_spoiler title=”The call for a more streamlined system” style=”simple” icon=”chevron-circle” anchor=”Comment”]As if failing to obtain the grades to meet your university offer isn’t stressful enough, the hectic free-for-all that is the Ucas clearing process is sure to leave you tearing you hair out in despair.

You’ll wait on hold for hours trying to get through to universities only to be told either your grades aren’t good enough or the course you’re looking to get on is full. Of course, institutions need to fill their places, but in all the mayhem of results day it’s easy for students to panic and make the wrong choice. With no guarantee you’ll be able to find anywhere else, it’s highly possible you’ll be tempted into making a rash decision in what is the most important choice of your academic life.

It’s hard to imagine those that arrived at UEA through clearing are filled with regret, we are wonderful after all, but it would be interesting to see what percentage of university drop-outs obtain their places through clearing.

A more streamlined process, in which students are given more time to select which university is right for them and not panicked into making a quick decision amidst the stress of receiving disappointing results, would be beneficial to both institutions and sixth form leavers. It feels like a strange anomaly in what is otherwise a quite fair application process for higher education. The clearing process is in real need of a clear-up.
Dan Jeakins, news writer[/su_spoiler]

Significantly, the removal of the cap of university places that began at the start of this academic year has led to 80% of those students surveyed believing that, as a result of increased competition, there is greater flexibility with regard to grade requirements to gain a place a university. It is understood this would significantly reduce the number of students using Clearing.

Hannah Morrish, Education Community Manager, at The Student Room has said: “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. Universities and schools must work together to reassure students about clearing”.

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.

12/04/2016

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stephencole