For the first time, students looking for a place at university or college this summer will be presented with a personalised list of available courses.
Posted Sun 3 May 2020 - 17:00

Clearing Plus will match unplaced undergraduate applicants to relevant courses with vacancies. The service introduces a new personalised Clearing in 2020 and will allow students to move seamlessly between universities – with individual support on offer from UCAS through emails, social media, and over the phone.

UCAS’ new partnership with BBC Bitesize means students will also be able to access enhanced information and advice in more places online, as they continue their application journey outside school or college.

From early July, unplaced applicants will be able to sign in to Track (their online UCAS account) to see their individual list of matched courses, and easily send an expression of interest to a university. Universities can then contact interested students, who will be able to add a new course to their UCAS application.

Anyone with a confirmed place who changes their mind can release themselves into Clearing to see their matches. When the online self-release option was first introduced in 2019, around 30,000 people used it, with almost 99% of those who reapplied successfully placed.

Clare Marchant, UCAS’ Chief Executive, said: ‘We are confident the new personalised Clearing in 2020 will transform the experience for students. They won’t need to search through a mountain of courses or make endless phone calls. The most appropriate course options for them as an individual will be presented through their online account.

‘Clearing Plus builds on the successful introduction of the online self-release last year, to give students more control while also making the process smarter, fairer, and more personal. Our initial projection is that we expect around 50,000 students to use Clearing Plus to discover their course.

‘At a highly emotional time, we’ll have even more support available to guide students on their journey. We know most applicants are continuing with their plans to start studying in the autumn, and they can be confident of getting all the help they need from UCAS and BBC Bitesize, as they receive their results and consider their next steps.’

Clearing will also still be available in the traditional way. All courses with vacancies will be listed on the UCAS website, and applicants can contact universities to discuss any of the 35,000 courses expected to be available.

A record 73,320 students used Clearing last year to secure a place at university or college, either by applying for the first time from July onwards, choosing to release themselves from a confirmed place, or using Clearing if they were unsuccessful in meeting their firm (first choice) or insurance (second choice) offers. In total, 541,240 people were accepted through UCAS to study an undergraduate course in the UK in 2019 (also a record).


UCAS Press Office

01242 545 469


Notes for editors

UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, is an independent charity, and the UK's shared admissions service for higher education. We manage almost three million applications, from around 700,000 people each year, for full-time undergraduate courses at over 370 universities and colleges across the UK.

Most 18 year old applicants in the UK will be able to use Clearing Plus after receiving their SQA grades in early August, or their A level results on 13 August. Although Clearing Plus will be live from early July, universities will have places available for those receiving results in August, as in previous years.

Clearing Plus replaces the direct contact service from recent years, which saw universities telephone students who were likely to be interested in available courses. 


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