Record Numbers Get Uni Place Via Clearing

With fewer UK students receiving an offer from their first choice of university this year, more have accepted places through the UCAS Clearing system.
Record Numbers Get Uni Place Via Clearing
By Carli Allan
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A record number of UK 18-year-olds have secured a place at a UK university using Clearing. While fewer students got an offer from their first choice of university this year, more have accepted places through the UCAS Clearing system.

This year, 38,140 UK students have secured places at UK universities through Clearing; this is up from 33,280 (+14.6%) in 2022 when exams were re-introduced and 33,000 (+15.6%) in 2019, the last time grading arrangements were the same.

New data from UCAS also shows that the number of UK students accepted into university has dropped for the first time in five years; 270,350 UK 18-year-olds received an offer the year compared to 275,390 in 2022. 

UCAS Clearing is for anyone who didn't meet the conditions of their university offer, did better than they expected and wants to see if they can find a 'better' course, or didn't receive any offers.

Growing numbers of students that have been placed at their firm choice are using Clearing to secure a new choice or university/college. In total, 16,040 UK 18 year old applicants found a new course after releasing themselves from a previously held choice. This compares to 14,760 in 2022, and 12,170 in 2019. 
Worldwide, 67,990 students have found a place using Clearing this year.

  • 32% found a place after declining their original firm choice– this is the largest single pool.
  • 30% found a place after not meeting the terms of their offer and being released into Clearing on results day.
  • The remainder either applied directly into Clearing or held no firm choice.

In total, 50,860 international students from outside the EU have been accepted into UK universities. The top two countries with accepted applicants are China (15,180 in 2023, down from 16,720 in 2022) and India (4,960 in 2023, up from 4,400 in 2022). 

Sander Kristel, Interim CEO at UCAS said: 

“In the past, Clearing was perceived as just being a process to support students that didn’t meet their offer to get a place at a remaining course. This couldn’t be further from the truth – this year we saw a record number of students secure a place at one of the 30,000 courses available.

"We’ve also seen record numbers of students exercising choice later in the cycle, revisiting their options for a range of reasons personal to them. We also know from our survey that over nine in 10 students are confident they’ve made the right choice."
Clearing remains open until October 17 so there is still time and choice available to students.

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