Friday, August 21, 2009

University clearing is unnecessarily tough.

Back in January this year I posted that I thought the government had made a mistake by reducing/capping the number of university places. My argument back then was that by increasing places you can encourage more students to go to university and develop their skills and take young people out of the job market. I made it explicitly clear that it was a much better investment than a lot of what the government was spending its money on.

Consider how tough clearing is right now:
a) More applications from existing students for MAs/PHDs
b) More undergraduate applications to universities
c) Grade inflation and more people achieving high marks
d) Restricted growth of places enforced by the government

This is unfair and I really feel for anyone hunting for a place. If I were searching for a course, I would contact the universities I had applied to and see if they can offer me anything and if not, get a league table of the universities and phone up each one until I'd got a place. Also I would consider being flexible about what I wanted to study.

The UCAS website and hotline can help.

TIP: Always phone a university you are interested in (you can normally find their telephone numbers on their websites) and don't just rely on listings in newspapers and such. There may be unadvertised places available.

Good luck.

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