UCAS Clearing: An International Student Admission Guide

UCAS Clearing: An International Student Admission Guide's photoBy Ernest Emeka
Thu Jul 18 2024
UCAS Clearing: An International Student Admission Guide

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Do you know you can have a second chance to get a spot at some of the United Kingdom universities with the UCAS Clearing? Students take compulsory high school examinations like WAEC and NECO every year, and most miss out on the admission window. While a few take advantage of the UCAS Clearing to gain admission, the majority have no idea that such an opportunity exists.

What is UCAS Clearing?

UCAS Clearing is part of the United Kingdom's university application system. UCAS(the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is a centralized bachelor—or undergraduate-level application system that offers students at least five universities at once. Clearing is created to file course places that haven’t already been taken.

UCAS Clearing: An International Student Admission Guide

Whether you are a mature student (over 21 years), a UK or international student, or a school leaver, you can take advantage of this admission process.

Who is UCAS Clearing for?

You can use Clearing if:

1.      You have changed your mind about where or what you want to study.

2.      You didn’t receive any offers into your firm (CF) or insurance (CI) choice universities.

3.      You have not yet applied to university for this September

4.      Your results mean you didn’t meet the conditions of your offer(s)

5.      You don’t want to accept the offer(s) you’ve had

6.      You are applying after 30 June.

7.      You don't want the places you've been offered and use self-release to enter Clearing.

8.      You were unsure about the university during the first round of applications and didn't apply.

Students who applied through UCAS and met the above criteria can use UCAS Clearing. Universities with spaces on different courses advertise through UCAS Clearing to help them admit students.

When does UCAS Clearing open? 

UCAS Clearing opens at the beginning of July each year.

When does UCAS Clearing close?

UCAS Clearing officially closes around October. 

What is UCAS Clearing Plus?

UCAS clearing plus helps students match the courses they may be interested in and the locations they want to live in and consider.

How does UCAS Clearing work?

Here is how you can take advantage of the Clearing;

1.      Students need to speak to a university they want to add as their Clearing choice and give them their UCAS personal IDs/Clearing numbers. The students would request if the schools can accept them onto the available course with their grades.

2.      When these students receive ‘informal’ offers on the phone, they can go to the official UCAS website and click 'add Clearing choice.' They can only add the university that offered them spaces.

3.      The university would formally confirm their choices on UCAS Clearing.

4.      Students should progress in arranging their accommodation against the September or October intake.

Important things to remember 

1.      You should prepare in advance: List your desired UCAS Clearing courses and universities. Prioritize them to help you make a final choice after the Clearing listings are published.

2.      You should apply as soon as possible.

3.      Don’t be discouraged because some top universities will have some vacancies.

4.      Ensure you regularly check your UCAS Hub. If you become eligible, you will find an 'add Clearing choice' option.

5.      Search for your desired course or university on the official Clearing listings or university websites.

6.      Be flexible: You should consider other courses. 

7.      Don't wait until the deadline to start calling universities. Vacancies at higher-ranked universities can be filled quickly.

8.      Don’t forget your  UCAS Clearing number whenever you want to call a school.

9.      Avoid an agent: Call the university yourself 

10.  Keep going: Try using email if you have no luck on calls.

11.  You have one Clearing choice at a time: Make good use of it

Note: While UCAS Clearing is used by students who didn’t get their insurance choice universities or courses, you can use this process strategically. Here is what you can do with Clearing:

Some students often consider a gap year or a mini-gap year. You can decide to use this strategy and avoid rushing through Clearing. For instance, some United Kingdom schools offer students the January entry points.

Sometimes, compare other universities that can accept you before making your final choice. Don’t make a hasty decision.

You can wait for your results (WAEC/NECO) before applying directly. However, this could be risky if you have limited space.

You should call a university and tell them you want to decline an offer.

Not all universities will advertise their empty spaces in Clearing, and you may not get courses with high entry requirements, such as Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, and Dentistry.  

Do you want to apply directly through Clearing? You must register and make an application.

UCAS Clearing: An International Student Admission Guide

How do I reply to a Clearing offer?

You don’t have to reply to a Clearing offer. When you add your choice, the school will decide whether to confirm your place in your application.

What’s different about Clearing for international students?

International students need some documents that the UK students may not use, but the Clearing process works the same.

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