Warning of 'most frantic' university clearing

The clearing process for students who fail to make their grades this summer will be "the most frantic and stressful in living memory", it has been claimed.

Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union (UCU), warned that "the stakes have never been higher" for applicants.



Universities have revealed that vacancies are now scarce, with most of the UK's leading Russell Group institutions having no places left on undergraduate courses.



Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, the London School of Economics, Imperial College London, Warwick, University College London, Edinburgh and Birmingham are not entering clearing.



A survey by the Press Association of almost 60 institutions has found that more than a quarter say they will not enter the clearing process, or are highly unlikely to do so.



Clearing matches students who have not received any offers, or been turned down by their original choices due to lower than expected grades, to other available courses.



The poll paints a bleak picture for students whose results are lower than hoped, particularly those hoping to find a place at a top-flight university.



A Birmingham University spokesman said: "We may be able to take a small number of students through the national adjustment process provided they have grades of AAB or better."



Adjustment allows students to trade up if they receive better-than-expected grades.



Glasgow University also said it will not have clearing places, although there may be a very small number for courses at its Dumfries campus.



Cardiff University said it will be entering clearing, with a slightly higher number available than in previous years due to more funded places being provided by Wales' higher education funding council.



King's College London said it will have a "very limited" number of places, while Nottingham said it may have around 20.



A number of other universities are also closing their doors, including Surrey, Oxford Brookes, Chester, Leeds Metropolitan, Reading and Harper Adams University College who all said it was unlikely that they would take part in clearing.



Ms Hunt said: "The stakes have never been higher for university applicants. With tuition fees set to treble from 2012, demand for places this summer is likely to be unprecedented.



"I fear that clearing will be the most frantic and stressful in living memory with thousands of young people, encouraged to aspire to university throughout their lives, left disappointed.



"Those who are unable to get a place this year face the prospect of having to pay the highest public university fees in the world. The Government's funding plans will leave students with mortgage-size debts and create huge instability within the sector.



"It's hardly surprising that English universities are bracing themselves for a drop in numbers in 2012, when they will also be contending with an 80% cut to their teaching budgets."



A spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) said: "Going to university is a competitive process and not all those who apply are accepted. We provided an additional 10,000 places last year and universities will again be able to recruit the same number of new students this autumn."



According to UCAS figures, as of July 18, 673,570 people had applied to university for this autumn, a 1.3% increase on 2010.



Of these applicants, 568,652 were from the UK.



Last year, around 47,000 people found places through clearing.



Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

AER Teachers: Early Years Teaching Assistant Newham

Negotiable: AER Teachers: Outstanding East London primary school seeking an Ea...

AER Teachers: Southwark primary School looking for teaching assistants

Negotiable: AER Teachers: Southwark primary School looking for teaching assist...

Royal College of Music: Assistant to the Deputy Director & the Director of Research

£24,451 - £27,061 per annum: Royal College of Music: The Royal College of Musi...

Guru Careers: Marketing Analyst / Optimisation Analyst

£35 - £45k DOE + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing / Optimisation Analyst is...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory