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More A-level students chase fewer university places through clearing

Over 190,000 would-be students were scrambling for a rapidly diminishing number of university places across the UK last night as clearing continued.

About 4,000 vacancies were snapped up by yesterday morning, just a day into the process, according to figures from university admissions service UCAS.

Clearing is continuing at the University of Ulster and Queen’s University, although there are only a small number of places available.

In total, 190,183 people are eligible for the clearing process across the UK because they have had no offers, failed to make their grades or applied too late. Some 4,083 applicants have already found a place through clearing.

This is down slightly on last summer, when 5,205 places had been taken at this point in the process. Around 18,000 courses have had places available, but the number is falling quickly. As many as 150,000 students could miss out on university this year, UCAS has estimated.

Last year 47,600 students found places through clearing and it has been predicted that the number will be smaller this year.

Yesterday's figures show that a massive 48,500 more people qualify for clearing now than at this point last year.

Record numbers of students have already taken up their offers confirmed by their chosen university or found a place through clearing, as they seek to secure their position. Some 394,436 have been accepted, compared with 382,863 at this point last year — a rise of 11,573.

But more are waiting to hear if they have been accepted, the UCAS figures show.

This year 81,915 applicants are still waiting for a decision, compared with 79,528 last summer — a difference of 2,387.

A record 674,339 people applied to university this year, up from 610,453 last year — an extra 63,886 applicants.

Clearing is the annual process of matching applicants to vacant university courses. The drop in numbers finding a place through clearing this year could be due to fewer places being available.

A small survey of some universities by the Press Association showed just 1,800 clearing places available at 16 universities yesterday when the process opened.

Belfast Telegraph


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