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14th April 2016

Majority of students want to scrap UCAS clearing

Students have revealed their concerns with the current system, claiming it has a ‘bad reputation’ and that they feel embarrassed to say they had used it

Research conducted by The Student Room has found that 59 per cent of students want university admission process to change and just over half believe that the UCAS clearing system has a ‘bad reputation’.

UCAS market clearing as a way to connect students unhappy with their current choices to universities unable to fill their spaces.

The study was undertaken last month, when The Student Room asked 6,300 of their members for their opinions on the matter.

The website is the largest student community in the world, with over 1.8 million members. It is widely known for its free advice on every aspect of university life—whether it be about applications or health and lifestyle.

The results of the survey proved that students were less than favourable to the clearing system. 48 per cent were uncomfortable to admit to using the system and 20 per cent would judge those who had used it as ‘desperate’.

Hannah Morrish, Education Community Manager at The Student Room has said the reason for this is clear: “Clearing reinforces that despite their best efforts they were not good enough and missed the goal they had been working towards over the last year” and “that can be really disheartening.”

One University of Manchester student disagrees, and is happy with her experience with the clearing system. She said: “I used clearing because I missed a grade and wasn’t happy with the offers I had. My first choice still accepted me but they put me on a different campus (in an entirely different county) and the modules I could do were really limited because of it.”

I had to decide: “Do I stick with the safe option I don’t want, or try and find something better?” Whilst deciding to reject any offers was a tough decision, “especially as I’d been told it was really difficult to get a decent place through clearing, it was a lot easier to use than I thought.”

“It was pretty quick call to an operator to find out if they’d accept you, and then you’d get put through or called back by a tutor to do a quick telephone interview. Even that was pretty painless, they seemed to just want to know you were actually interested in the subject and weren’t just panicking and applying for everything.”

“The tutors seemed happy to have filled the places as well, not like they were judging you for having got in through clearing”.

She also stated that whilst “I wouldn’t say I’m embarrassed to have gone through clearing, it wasn’t the first thing I mentioned when I met people once I got there.”

“I wouldn’t describe anyone as desperate for going through clearing. I don’t think anyone else should be judged for rethinking their options last minute.

“There’s a stigma about clearing that people think you deserve the place less because you didn’t do a formal interview, didn’t work as hard for it, or you only considered the university later. [That is] definitely not the case for everyone.”

UCAS have refused to comment on the original article written by The Huffington Post UK.

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