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A Brief Guide to the Clearing Process in the UK

International students are usually new to the concept of clearing. But considering the benefits of the clearing process in the UK has to offer, it is important to know all about it. This brief guide is meant to facilitate all the students who wish to know about what clearing is, how it works, and how should they make the most of it.

What is Clearing?

Clearing is a service offered by UCAS through which you can look for alternative undergraduate courses that are still available at UK universities or colleges, if you’re not already holding offer letters. So, if you were not accepted into any of the UK universities or colleges which you have chosen before, you still have the chance to find another suitable course through UCAS Clearing.

But why weren’t you accepted into the university of your choice?

You might have failed to secure admission to your favorite university in the UK due to various reasons:

  • You didn’t meet the entry requirements because of low exam scores or scored better than expected and wished to choose better and change the program you selected before.
  • You decided to skip university education but later changed your mind and decided to start this year. So, you applied after 30 June.
  • You were unsure about accepting an offer from a university because of other preferences or plans.

When does Clearing start?

The clearing process starts in July, and you can use it until 21 October to apply for available courses that match your interests. During this period, the universities are aiming to complete their student intake for a particular academic year.

Is the UK Clearing process meant for international students?

A simple answer to this would be YES! The Clearing process in the UK is also meant for international students. Let’s cheer you up with some statistics. UK universities accepted 68,680 international students by the end of the 2018 clearing process. Out of these students, 30,350 were EU students, and 38,330 were non-EU students. This shows that as an international student, you, too, are eligible to use this opportunity.

However, the only eligibility requirement is that you must have originally applied to study in the UK via the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS). Also, as an extra measure, you should consult your preferred university and discuss your plans for lodging an application during the clearing process in the UK. You should contact the university, especially if you are going through clearing just because you did not receive an offer letter from them.

If you completed and submitted your university application by June 30th and haven’t received an offer or you have decided not to accept an offer made, your application will automatically be forwarded into clearing. However, you will be expected to submit an application fee of GBP 22 to enter the clearing process or GBP 11 if you had sent your application to even a single university before the clearing process.

How does Clearing work?

The first step is when a student gets their results, and they do not meet the minimum entry requirements of the universities in the UK. Such a student would sign-in on the UCAS website and confirm whether he/she is eligible to enter the clearing process. Students who have missed the deadlines and have not applied to any universities can also check their eligibility for clearing.

Once the eligibility is confirmed, the student will enter the second stage and receive a clearing number. This number is the application reference which universities use during the evaluation phase. After getting this number, a student should apply online or call universities to send their application for the chosen courses. All contact details are clearly mentioned on the UCAS website for international students.

The last stage of the clearing process in the UK would begin when an offer is made. Students will get no more than a few days to either accept or decline the offer. Also, they must remember that they can apply for a single clearing option at a time and can only reapply once the result of the first application is available.

How to choose your courses in UCAS Clearing?

You have to be quick yet smart when choosing a course or education institution. You will generally get a couple of days instead of months to make the call, and this can make you get cold feet.

Here are some tips for you to make that clearing process less daunting:

  • It is very likely that you have had done some research on the courses you would like to take and the universities you would like to apply to before the clearing process. Allow this research to help you. You may also go through university websites, prospectus, and even talk to the current students to help you with the decision making.
  • Another good idea is to concentrate on a specific city or area of the country. Look for institutions located in the region that you would most like to study in. This is especially useful when you are an international student.
  • Quality should be on your priority list. Just because you are in the clearing process does not mean that you have to settle for less than you deserve or for a course than you are not interested in.
  • Hit Google and browse through all the university websites. Collect as much information as possible about the offered courses. Being well-informed always helps in making the right decision.

Look for expert assistance!

Your IDP counsellor can guide step by step in the Clearing process and can follow up with the universities to ensure you get the offer letter and accept it as required by the university. Give us a call today & we will help!

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