'Role of Clearing system is changing' - Keele VC


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Posted on 13 August 2014
With the current Government planning to remove the cap on student numbers in most subjects next year, big changes to the university applications system could be needed.

Speaking ahead of this year’s A-level results, Professor Nick Foskett, Vice-Chancellor of Keele University, which has just come joint first for student satisfaction in the 2014 National Student Survey, says that this year we will see the role of the Clearing system continue to change.

He said: "An increase of 30,000 extra spaces at universities for 2014/15 means more students are likely to be accepted into their first choice, even if their grades are slightly lower than universities requested. Many universities that have plans for growth will be using this year to expand their numbers, so will be keen to accept students that may have been rejected in previous years.

“As a result of this, it’s likely that fewer students will be going through Clearing and, with potentially an additional 15,000 spaces on the cards in the Clearing system nationwide, we should see those that do go through the process finding it easier to be accepted on to their desired course. However, students shouldn’t leave the decision too late, as the day of A-level results is always the busiest day for Clearing places to be taken up. It’s always best to start making calls to your chosen universities the morning that your results are received.

“With the current Government planning to remove the cap on student numbers in most subjects next year, big changes to the university applications system could be needed. For instance, the current pre-results application system may not be entirely fit for purpose as it was created more than 50 years ago to accommodate only a handful of universities. However, with the General Election due next year, and uncertainty about the political environment and the public spending context beyond that, there are some that are sceptical on whether the removal of caps on student numbers at universities will be fully realised.”


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