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How Will the New Clearing Process Affect Students?

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On Sunday, UCAS announced its new Clearing system: Clearing Plus, which will be available from early July 2020.

Clearing Plus will be an addition to the current Clearing system. It will match eligible applicants who have no existing university offer to suitable courses, based on their requirements and academic achievement.

UCAS said this new service will allow students to ‘move seamlessly between universities’.

Who will be eligible for Clearing Plus?

To be eligible for Clearing Plus, students must have applied for at least one UK university through UCAS and not be holding any university offers.

If you aren’t holding university offers, it might be for several reasons:

  • No offers were made to you
  • You declined your offers
  • You didn’t meet the conditions of your offer
  • You applied too late to be considered – after June 30

How will the new clearing system work?

Under the old Clearing system, students would see a list of universities offering clearing places. Students would then drop them a call to see if they would offer them a place.

The new system greatly simplifies this. Under the new Clearing Plus system, eligible students will be matched to universities 'based on their achievements and course interests’.

Students can then easily send an indication to the university that they are interested in the course. These universities will contact students back with details of the course. If successful, the student can then add a new course to their UCAS application.

Clare Marchant, UCAS’ Chief Executive, said: “We are confident the new personalized Clearing in 2020 will transform the experience for students. They won’t need to search through a mountain of courses or make endless phone calls. The most appropriate course options for them as an individual will be presented through their online account.”

Clearing Plus can also be used if students exceed their predicted grades and want to see which universities are now available to them.

What if I have a confirmed offer but want to see which universities I would’ve matched with?

Students who have a confirmed university place can only see their options if they drop their current offer and release themselves into Clearing.

UCAS claims that in 2019 when the self-release option was first introduced, “around 30,000 people used it, with almost 99 percent of those who reapplied successfully placed”.

Will the old way of Clearing still be available?

Yes, the traditional way of clearing will still be available. You will able to view the full list of courses with vacancies on the UCAS website. Applicants can contact universities directly to discuss the courses available.

UCAS said that they expect 35,000 courses to be available in Clearing this year.

Where can I go to get help with the new Clearing system?
UCAS has partnered with BBC Bitesize to support students applying for university in the UK. They offer helpful articles explaining the whole process in more detail. 

You can also find more information about applying for uni here.

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Written by Chloe Lane
A Content Writer for TopUniversities.com, Chloe has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 

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