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School leavers facing fight for university places

A-level students who didn’t make the grades they were expecting this year are about to face a frantic scramble for places, with many top universities already warning they are full.

Clearing is expected to be short this year, due to limited availability of university places. A small-scale survey conducted by the Press Association, less than two weeks before A-level results are published paints a bleak picture for students.

Very few places will be available at the UK's top Russell Group institutions. Queen's University Belfast said it was not yet clear how many, if any, places it would have available through clearing.

It has been estimated that as many as 170,000 UK students will be left disappointed this summer.

This comes just a day after Universities Minister David Willetts said many A-level students face being turned away amid high competition for courses.

He told the BBC's Andrew Marr show the Government had made an extra 10,000 places available.

But he added: “It is going to be tough. There are young people who sadly are not going to get a place, including perhaps some young people who really have got good A-level grades.”

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