Record number of UK students in clearing two weeks after A-level results

A record number of UK-based teenagers are still in clearing and looking for higher education courses two weeks after receiving their A-level results, figures show.

A total of 44,340 18-year-olds resident in the UK were recorded as “free to be placed in clearing” on the Ucas website on Thursday.

The figure is the highest for this point in the admissions process since at least 2013.

It is also up sharply from the 32,460 who were still in clearing two weeks after results day in 2021.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Some 273,290 UK-based 18-year-olds had been accepted on a higher education course in the UK as of Thursday.

This is a record number and is up from 271,560 at this point last year.

A further 25,840 international students aged 18 have also secured a place on a course in the UK, up on the equivalent figure last year of 24,260, but below the number at this point in 2018 to 2020.

Clare Marchant, Ucas chief executive, said: “Two weeks on from exam results day, we see a record number of 18-year-olds from the UK on their way to university and college this autumn.

“People continue to use clearing to secure their places – some are changing their choices while others have not been successful in gaining their first choice. To date, nearly 30,000 UK 18-year-olds have secured a place using this route, and we expect these numbers to be even higher as clearing remains open until October.

“There is still plenty of choice, with around 23,000 courses available.

“Ucas continues to support students to understand all of their options, ranging from undergraduate courses to apprenticeships, with direct engagement via email and social media, as well as offering personalised choices through Clearing Plus. As always, our advisers are also available on phone and social media channels supporting everybody who wants guidance at every step.”

The latest figures also show a record number of students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds have gained a place, with 31,370 accepted so far, up from 30,020 in 2021 and 25,630 in the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

In total, 488,510 applicants of all ages have now secured a place on a course in the UK, compared with 494,400 at this point in 2021.

Some 429,350 of the total are resident in the UK while 59,150 are international students.

The number of EU-based students who have been accepted on a course is the lowest for this point of the application process since at least 2013, at 9,520.

By contrast, the number of non-EU international students with a place on a course currently stands at 49,640, the highest it has been two weeks after A-level results day.