Today Clearing began for all of England, Wales and Northern Ireland (it started in Scotland on 4 August). Clearing is a key part of the admissions process: things really do change during that five week period, when applicants who haven’t already been accepted by a university or college can find a place on another course. Last year 61,000 people found a place through Clearing, whether they applied directly to Clearing or didn’t get a place on a course in UCAS’s main scheme – that’s 12% of all applicants, and the highest number it’s ever been.
This year Clearing will be more important than ever. For the first time since 2009, all English universities will be free to accept as many students as they want (for all bar some clinical and education courses). The data UCAS release in the fortnight following A-level results day will give us the first chance to see what effect this change has had on the numbers of students accepted to universities across the UK.
As in previous years, Universities UK will be using the data to provide daily updates on all of the relevant numbers in a handy visual format comparing them against the numbers from last year. We’ll be showing the number of applicants and the numbers who have received a university place:
We’ll be delving further into the numbers of applicants who’ve received university places this year to show how those are distributed across the UK, and what changes there have been since last year (see below). This will be a first indication of how English universities have responded to the removal of student number controls.
And then we’ll be looking at where the applicants accepted for universities in each of the UK countries are from – whether that’s England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, inside or outside of the EU – and what the changes have been in those numbers (see below). Data on applications from UCAS suggests that there will be increases in EU and international students accepted across the UK.
We’ll also be showing any changes in the age of applicants from each UK country (see below). Recent UCAS figures have shown a fall in mature applicants across the UK, so we’ll be looking at whether this has changed the numbers of older people accepted onto higher education courses, and showing how the proportion of 18 year olds entering higher education has changed since 2011.
And we’ll be showing how different subjects are faring, so the number of applicants receiving a university place in each subject area can be compared with all other subject areas and with how they individually did last year (see below). This will help us see whether the increase in students takingtraditional subjects at GCSE and A-level has translated into changes in degree choices.