Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Clearing or a Gap Year - What''s Best for You? Advertisement Feature

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Clearing or a Gap Year - What''s Best for You? Advertisement Feature

Article excerpt

Whether champagne corks popped or parents offered a shoulder to cry on, yesterday saw nervous 18-year-olds around the country opening their A-level results.

For those planning on going to university, the time can be particularly stressful. But, if results don't match a student's dream course requirements, there are always clearing places available.

For those unfamiliar with the clearing process, on the same day A-Level results are announced, universities open their doors and state which places are still available on their courses.

This, combined with the A-levegrades they'll accept for their courses, means those who've been unsuccessful in gaining a place at university, have a second chance to enrol on a course.

Last year, as many as 44,000 people gained a place during clearing, according to Kate Butland, customer services manager. While clearing might seem like a lifeline for students desperate to live out their university dreams, is it really such a good idea? Butland definitely thinks so: "It allows people who have not been given the grades they were after to look for university courses, so they don't feel they've wasted two years.

"There are plenty of courses out there they can look at. In some cases, it's actually benefited students because they've thought, 'I made my initial choice 12 months ago and at the time I wasn't 100% sure about doing the course but just went along with it. Now, through clearing I've actually found the course I really want to do and am completely dedicated and committed to doing it'."

Clearing is primarily used by those who are focused on the degree qualifications needed for their dream job and those who already know where they want to study.

"There are a huge amount of courses out there," she says. "Also on the UCAS website there's a section called Entry Profile. This is where you can get information direct from the universities about what the courses are like, the qualifications you need to go to the university and generally what the university is like."

Spending valuable time researching both courses and institutions seems the key to clearing success, but in line with her objective attitude, Butland does stress there are other options out there. …

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