University woes continue as 40,000 hopefuls are still stuck in Clearing waiting for a place
- Ucas said 23,670 applicants had been placed via Clearing since results day
- The place squeeze is mostly down to a bulge in the population of 18-year-olds
- The statistics from DataHE come two days before GCSE results day
Some 40,000 pupils are in Clearing for a university place five days after A-level results day.
DataHE said this was ‘a good third higher than normal at this point’.
It is a record high since 2013, and only slightly lower than the 43,000 on results day, due to new pupils entering the system every day.
Ucas said 23,670 applicants had been placed via Clearing so far, with 25,000 courses available yesterday. The place squeeze is mostly down to a bulge in the population of 18-year-olds, and many students having missed their predicted grades.
The data has not changed as much as one would expect because new people are entering Clearing every day.
Ucas said 23,670 applicants had been placed via Clearing so far, with 25,000 courses available yesterday. The place squeeze is mostly down to a bulge in the population of 18-year-olds, and many students having missed their predicted grades
This might be because some people who were holding offers then lost them.
It can happen when a university agrees to keep a place open if there is a mistake on results day – for example, if a result is lost.
In addition, this year, BTec results have been late from one exam board, so many of those pupils would have been holding places.
Students can also enter Clearing late if they decide after a few days to decline their place – especially if the place they had was their insurance choice.
And many others simply decide days after results day to apply to university, having previously not considered it.
A proportion of the people in Clearing are still unsure about whether they want to attend university, and may abandon finding one altogether.
The statistics came two days before the release of GCSE results, which are also predicted to suffer a drop.
Heads’ union ASCL (association of school and college leaders) warned yesterday the results are likely to be ‘uneven’ across different schools and areas, and reflect the ‘turbulent circumstances’ of the pandemic.
This may be true if some schools suffered worse Covid outbreaks than others, it said.
And ASCL also suggested in future years, the format of GCSE exams need to change from ‘pen-and-paper’ to computerised tests – which would still be supervised.
Ahead of the results being released, the Teach First charity published a new study showing destinations of past GCSE pupils.
It found deprived pupils are twice as likely as their richer peers to be unemployed five years after their GCSEs.
One third – 33 per cent – of poorer young people are not in sustained work or education five years after GCSEs, compared to 14 per cent of their wealthier peers.
Disadvantaged pupils are also more likely to end up unemployed than they are to go to university.
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