The UK’s university application process can be confusing, especially for international students who might not be used to it. But once you understand how Clearing works, you can use it to secure a place at a UK university you’d like to attend. Here is our guide regarding: Who is it for? How does it work? – and everything else you need to know about the process.
What is Clearing?
Clearing is a process that happens every year in the UK where students who didn’t get into their first choice of university, decide against offers they received, or apply late in the year, can try to get into a different undergraduate course.
It’s basically a way to fill up university courses that still have available spots. And every year, thousands of students successfully get into a university through clearing.
Clearing is a process that begins in July for those who want to get into undergraduate courses. It is not available, however, for postgraduate degrees. Most students will start to go through Clearing on A Level results day in the UK on 18 August 2022.
This means they will check the UCAS database and/or call universities to see what places are available to try and secure a spot on a course. Places fill up quickly, so it’s advised to note this day in your diary and call universities then.
UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) established the Clearing procedure. To apply to a bachelor’s programme in the UK, you must primarily use UCAS. The Clearing system is designed to help applicants secure a place at a university if they do not receive any offers or have not met their offers’ conditions.
When Can you Use Clearing?
Following are the points to keep in mind when applying for Clearing:
- You are applying to undergraduate programmes at UK universities, typically bachelor’s degree programmes.
- Despite already applying, your school grades were better or worse than anticipated.
- If you want to submit a late application but did not do so by June 30.
- Universities didn’t make you any offers, or you can’t or don’t want to accept any of the ones they have made.
- You’ve paid the £26.50 application fee or £4.50 if you’ve previously paid the reduced charge of £22 and refused your firm place.
Are International Students Eligible for Clearing into UK Universities?
Clearing is a process that allows students to apply to universities late in the year, and it is open to both British and international students. If you are unhappy with your previous university applications or have not applied to any universities yet, Clearing may be an option for you.
To register for Clearing, you must submit your applications through UCAS. Many international students secure places in universities through Clearing every year. To use Clearing, you need to apply through UCAS and pay the fee of £26.50.
If you’re an international student interested in attending university in the UK, you can still apply through Clearing even if you missed the main June 30th deadline. However, you must complete a UCAS application form to qualify for Clearing.
Clearing Timeline 2022
|5th July 2022||Clearing Opens||Although many people think Clearing opens on the day British students get their school grades, it opens much earlier. The first course vacancies are published in July, but most places won’t be available until after A Level results day.|
|18th August 2022||A Level Result Day||This is when students in the UK who are finishing school nervously await their final grades. It is also the day when Clearing openings will be updated. So, if you don’t obtain the expected results, don’t freak out. Clearing may be appropriate now.|
|18th October 2022||Clearing Closes||This is the deadline for applying to courses and universities through Clearing, but you shouldn’t wait until the last minute! Places fill up quickly; if you wait too long, you may not get the course or university place you want.|
What is Adjustment and Clearing Plus?
Adjustment was optional for any student whose scores were better than anticipated, but it was discontinued for the 2022 entry and is no longer available. You were able to change universities during confirmation, thanks to adjustment. You would have to decline your position and then go through the Clearing procedure, which is still an option.In 2020, UCAS added a new option called “Clearing Plus.” Clearing Plus is designed to make finding courses easier for you by suggesting courses you might like and which might be a good fit for you. Without Clearing Plus, you will have to search through courses by yourself actively.You can express interest in courses online through Clearing Plus, but UCAS recommends that you also search for courses and contact universities. The university might not reach out to you if a course is popular or filling up quickly.
Can Students Apply to Universities through Clearing without using UCAS?
You can apply to an undergraduate university in the UK in two ways: the UCAS path and the Record of Prior Acceptance (RPA) path. The UCAS path is the most common way to apply and is what you will use for Clearing. The RPA path is when you apply directly to the university during Clearing, and if you are accepted onto a course, the university will let UCAS know.
RPA could work well for students who haven’t applied to university and don’t want to use UCAS. However, it has some drawbacks compared to UCAS. For example, many universities won’t accept applications sent directly through RPA and will ask that you go through UCAS instead. Additionally, you might limit your options by only being able to apply to one university through RPA. In contrast, you can apply to more than one university with UCAS through Clearing. Ultimately, it comes down to your specific needs and whether the university you have in mind accepts applications through RPA.
Applicants to postgraduate courses in the UK generally don’t go through UCAS, and Clearing only works for undergraduate courses. In other words, Clearing is irrelevant to you if you’re looking for a Master’s degree. You can instead apply for postgraduate programmes directly through the college. Each university’s application system can vary, but you will find detailed instructions on the university websites.
The clearing process can be daunting, but it will be much easier if you have researched the courses and universities you are interested in. Utilize the resources available, such as university websites and prospectuses, and talk to current students to help you make the best decision possible.