Four in 10 students who went through Ucas Clearing last year to find a university place felt they didn’t have enough information and advice to help them, new research from Which? University reveals ahead of A-level results.
37% felt pressured to take the first offer they received and nearly half (46%) admitted they accepted a place without doing as much research as they wanted, our survey of 390 first-year students found.
Around half described Clearing as stressful, 38% said they panicked and nearly half of students said they rushed to make a decision about where to go.
You can find expert advice and resources for Clearing 2013 over on the Which? University website.
Choosing a university course
Which? University’s Jenni Allen said: ‘Choosing the right university and course is hugely important, so even in Clearing, students shouldn’t rush or feel pressured into a decision they may later regret. Students should use free advice sites, like Which? University, which has a wealth of practical, impartial information to help students going through Clearing this year.’
According to Ucas, there were 55,700 acceptances through the Clearing process last year – just under 12% of all university admissions.
Clearing student satisfaction
Although the majority of students who gained their place through Clearing were satisfied with their university (75%) and course (80%), they were significantly more likely to regret their choice of university (17% versus 9%) or course (15% versus 9%) than those who met their original offers.
They were also twice as likely to say they weren’t satisfied with their choice of university (13%) than those who didn’t go through Clearing (6%).
Get set for Clearing
Calling universities plays a crucial part in the Clearing process, but three quarters of students told us they were unsure what to expect. Here are five tips – see more in our guide to calling universities during Clearing:
- Have your Ucas number and grades to hand – and be ready to explain why you didn’t achieve your predicted grades
- Have notes about why you want to study that course at that university and re-read and print out your personal statement
- In the busy Clearing period you could be on hold for a while – be patient and don’t panic if you can’t get through straight away
- Get names, emails and direct phone numbers in case you have to follow up
- Sell yourself – why should the tutor give you a place on the course?