A guide to Clearing 2020! Featuring sessions from the University of Buckingham and University of East Anglia.

Event Summary (*Video also below*)

This webinar is hosted by Jon Cheek, the Founder and Director of UniTasterDays. Jon touches upon the guidance and help provided to students to help them make good choices when considering university. This is followed by two excellent guest speakers who each talk about different aspects of Clearing, Clearing Plus and Adjustment. Each session is summarised below.

Session 1: Clearing: what it is and how to prepare for it (1'57 - 17'16)

The first guest speaker is Catriona Oldershaw, Associate Director Admissions & Recruitment at the University of Buckingham. Catriona introduces what Clearing and Adjustment is, why it may be relevant this year, and how to prepare for it.

Catriona advises that Clearing is the way to secure a university place if you have been rejected by your firm and insurance choice, or if you have decided to go into Clearing by declining your original university place.

She also introduces Adjustment, which is available if you have met or exceeded the conditions of your firm and insurance offer. Where you can secure a place at another course or university, without losing your firm university place. Once you have verbally accepted a new offer, the university will add themselves to your UCAS application, ready for your acceptance.

Catriona also introduces how school grades have been calculated given exams have not taken place as usual this year.

She also provides some good news in relation to university entry. Including that this year (2020) will see the lowest number of 18-year olds, meaning university entry may be less competitive than in the future (and previously). As well as potentially a reduction in the number of students starting this year, particularly international students given the Covid-19 challengers. Universities will also be understanding to the issues with results and may therefore be more flexible regarding your university place. But Catriona also mentions universities are subject to a numbers cap. and advises why this is.

Catriona then updates students on the process from Tuesday 11th August to results day. Universities have the results (under embargo so they can’t release them) to allow students to access UCAS Track on results day, and should this be processed in time, see on the same day as receiving their results if they have obtained their university place. Although it should be acknowledged that some universities may need to delay the decision, so not all may be available.

Finally, Catriona introduces tips on how to prepare for Clearing. Including suggesting a table to complete which will rank university opportunities so you are well prepared on the day – all towards making informed university choices.

Session 2: What to expect on A-Level results day with Clearing in mind. Including a guide to Adjustment and Clearing Plus (18'30 - 41'12)

The second speaker is Hannah Wake, a Higher Education Adviser with the University of East Anglia. Hannah provides a guide to what happens on A-Level results day with university in mind. Including how students can prepare in advance to maximise their opportunities.

Hannah introduces the time UCAS Track updates on results day (around 8am) but advises students will need to have the results to hand as well – as universities cannot confirm these to you.

Hannah then introduces a handy chart which goes through the various options on results day, including confirmation of your place, being offered a place on an alternative course and UCAS Adjustment.

She concentrates on three options: 1/ confirming your university place, 2/ entering Clearing and 3/ substantive changes to your original university offer. Before introducing the process should you wish to self-release into Clearing.

Hannah then describes the differences between Clearing and Clearing Plus. Clearing Plus is not replacing Clearing. Both options remain available.

Clearing as with previous years allows students to browse 30,000+ university courses using the UCAS search tool. Whereas Clearing Plus matches university course choices to a student which students can express an interest in, to allow universities to contact a student (rather than the student contacting them).

Hannah mentions that it is very important to know Clearing phone lines open at 8am – but universities may not be making outgoing calls until later that day for Clearing Plus. And with limited course spaces, students may wish to be more proactive to ensure they receive the results they would like.

Hannah mentions the UCAS search tool is the definitive source of information, as that is continually kept up to date throughout the day. But university websites and of course the live chat and phonelines are the best place to find out more following confirming a course is listed on the UCAS Search. Phonelines are very busy, so please do be patient, and perhaps have access to multiple devices and phones to maximise your chances.

Hannah also mentions the importance of being prepared for Clearing. Have your documents ready, including Clearing number and personal id (with a full charge on the phone for incoming and outgoing calls). For Clearing, you can have as many verbal offers as you would like – but do check how long they are valid for. Some may only be for a few hours, but typically will be for a 24-hour period. From 3pm on results day, you can then add courses yourself to UCAS Track.

Hannah then discusses UCAS Adjustment – and you can contact as many universities as you like for Adjustment places, but you can only accept one verbal offer as the university needs to add the choice to your UCAS Track. You can also hold your original offer for five 24 hour periods to allow you to take time to make a decision.

Hannah also provides some advice on making decisions – including not just going for the first clearing offer and trying to imagine studying at a specific university to explore if it is the right choice for you. For example, have they got any campus tours, live chats, virtual or socially distanced clearing open days etc for you to find out more?

Finally, Hannah introduces the next steps – including relevant paperwork, ensuring contact details are up to date and providing supporting documentation. And finally getting excited about the opportunities ahead!

Event Recorded: Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at 12:00

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