Record number of students expected to secure places in clearing as universities scramble to fill vacancies

Tuesday 13th August 2019 17:15 EDT

A record 80,000 students are expected to take up places on degrees through clearing this year as universities scramble to fill courses, the head of the admissions service has predicted.

With less than a week to go until A-level results day, three in four of the country’s leading institutions have vacancies on their undergraduate programmes. A total of 30,000 courses still have spaces, including more than 4,600 courses at the elite Russell Group universities, which are the most selective in the country.

Eighteen of the 24 top universities have course advertised on the Ucas clearing site ahead of results day on Thursday, an analysis from The Independent found, including law courses at 12 of the institutions. 

Last year, 66,770 people found places at British universities using the clearing process. Clare Marchant, chief executive of Ucas, said the figure could reach 80,000 – almost double the number of students that used the system a decade ago – describing admissions as a “buyer’s market”.

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