Birmingham City University becomes first institution to make Clearing offers via Facebook and Twitter

Universities throughout the land have detected would-be students are making greater use of social media to enquire about vacancies

Richard Garner
Thursday 13 August 2015 14:21
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A university will be making offers through Clearing to its prospective students via Facebook and Twitter this year for the first time ever.

Universities throughout the land have detected would-be students are making greater use of social media to enquire about vacancies.

Now Birmingham City University is taking that a step further by saying it will make its offer via social media on 13 and 14 August between 7am and 7pm.

“We’ve seen a huge rise in course enquiries from prospective students via social media in recent months and for this reason we’ll be making course offers on Facebook and Twitter during this year’s Clearing period,” said Bashir Makhoul, pro-vice-chancellor at Birmingham City University.

The Russell Group, which represents 24 of the UK’s most selective universities, said some of its universities were likely to have places available “for students that have done better than expected”. (Getty)

“On results day, students can often feel too stressed to talk about course options and our Clearing hotline can get very busy. Making offers via social media will mean that enquirers can swerve the engaged toner and get an instant response on whether we have a place for them.”~

Greenwich University is another which is stepping up use of social media for students seeking place. It also adds that it would be perfectly possible for candidates to “Skype from the beach” in pursuing course options.

This year is likely to see a new record for the number of students getting a place through the Clearing system as the number of places is set to rise with the Government lifting the cap on student numbers set for each university. In addition, some students are likely to decide to forgo a gap year and enrol this year in advance of the Government’s decision to scrap maintenance grants from September 2016.

However, already three universities - Bath, Oxford and Cambridge - have filled all their places and will not be entering Clearing this year. Mike Nicholson, head of admissions at Bath (and former head of admissions at Oxford), said: The university has seen strong conversion on our initial offers with many more students opting to have Bath as their firm choice.”

The Russell Group, which represents 24 of the UK’s most selective universities, said some of its universities were likely to have places available “for students that have done better than expected”.

Meanwhile, recruitment figures published by major accountancy firm PwC reveal a record 41,000 have applied to join its student programme. Over 23,000 - a 15 per cent increase - had applied for graduate positions following the company’s decision to scrap UCAS scores as an entry criteria.

The firm said that - by attracting students who had not achieved the normally required A-level grades as indicated by the UCS score - it had opened its doors to a wider group of students from different backgrounds.

Deloitte’s announced it was recruiting 125 students who had just completed A-levels under its BrightStart programme which offers school leavers an alternative career option to university.

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