The university Clearing system needs to change, say current A-level students, with 48 percent claiming they would not tell their friends at university if they were admitted via Clearing.

In research conducted by The Student Room, the world’s largest online student community, 6,310 current A-level students were asked their opinion on the current UK university application system.

Half admitted being too embarrassed to admit to using Clearing, with comments including:

“It makes you look like a failure”

“I wouldn’t want pity or people to look down on me for not achieving my goals”

“It would make me feel as though I wasn’t smart or able enough to get in on my own”

The survey revealed more than half would get rid of Clearing altogether with 52 percent saying it has a bad reputation. Of those, 19 percent claimed that Clearing is “for people who are desperate to still get into university”.

More than half of students (59%) would favour switching to a system that enables them to reapply in September once they have achieved the necessary grades.

But despite their mistrust of the system, 81 percent of A-level students say they plan to check Clearing vacancies when they go live in July to see what options are available.

However, many feel they are unlikely to ever need the Clearing process, since 80 percent of students believe the removal of the cap on university places has made much it easier to receive an offer.

Hannah Morrish, Education Community Manager, at The Student Room says “Students feel the university they choose and the offer they get defines what they can hope to achieve. Clearing reinforces that despite their best efforts they weren’t good enough and missed the goal they’ve been working towards over the last year. That can be really disheartening. Unis and schools must work together to reassure students about Clearing.

“Students have picked up on the increase in offers that are lowered on results day which is making them question the value and honesty of the offers they’re receiving. Some students are asking their teachers to predict higher grades so they can apply to higher tariff universities that are known to discount offers at the last minute.”

Additional reporting by The Student Room.

Image via Shutterstock.

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