A Level results time is upon us again and many students will be excitedly looking forward to starting at university. However, demand for university places is at all time high, despite the increase in fees and, due to this and heavy fines for over-recruitment, many students will be disappointed.
In the 1990s almost a third of all candidates entered university through Clearing but these figures have dwindled year upon year as traditional applications have soared. Clearing began to fail in 2009 when 22,000 places were awarded but more than 130,000 A level candidates were left without a place.
Last year´s figures were closer to 170,000 candidates and this year Clearing will be facing unprecedented demand.
In 2008 Thames Valley University took 5,000 calls over several weeks but in 2009 they took more than 5,000 calls during the first day and over 20,000 calls in total.
Their staff have been specially trained to deal with upset students or parents and how to identify students who might better benefit from a part-time intensive course and also how best to ensure a successful application the next time round.
Whilst consoling thousands of distraught students on their Clearing hotlines universities also face extreme pressure from management to balance their books. Institutions face a balancing act between numbers confirming their places, Clearing and the possibility of fines for over-recruitment.
Some universities are turning their Clearing hotlines into advice lines and are giving more guidance to people who are not actually able to take up places. Clearing officially runs until late September but this year many universities are predicting that it will be over within a week, with almost all places gone by the end of results day.
University applications were up 12% on last year´s level with more than half a million students having applied for places but only 380,000 places being confirmed.
With numbers being capped, there will, of course, be disappointments however, students in the Upper Sixth Form at Mayfair Academy have had a 100% acceptance rate at the universities of their choice.
For new students joining Mayfair International Academy, there are two pathways to university, the regular route being through A Level studies with a range of subjects on offer including Languages i.e. Spanish and French, Business Studies, Psychology, English Literature and the alternative route which is a Hybrid Course combining academic and practical studies. Students embarking on the Hybrid Course train to become Gym Instructors / Personal Trainers whilst studying towards GCSE and A Level qualifications.
These students have a professional qualification before they even enter university which is a huge bonus as they can start earning immediately to fund their studies.