LSBU research draws back the veil on ClearingResearch by LSBU reveals that almost half of students came through Clearing in the last two years for reasons other than underperforming in secondary education
In a survey commissioned by LSBU and market research specialists YouthSight a sample group of current students at UK universities who began their studies in 2012/13 or 2013/14 were asked for the reasons they came to university through Clearing.
55% of respondents said it was because they didn't get the required grades, but 17% switched from another university or course, 11% cited that it was a last-minute decision to go to university, and 5% achieved better grades than expected.
When asked if coming through Clearing had impacted their university experience, over half (57%) did not think that it had. The remainder were evenly split between those who felt this impact was positive or negative.
Asked to comment on the advantages of coming through Clearing, responses included being given a second chance; being offered a better course or better university; feeling empowered to make better decisions; and enjoying the excitement of the process.
LSBU Director of Marketing and Student Recruitment Lynn Grimes said: "For too long Clearing has been burdened with the stigma of failure and it's simply not the truth. As this research shows, Clearing shouldn't be seen as a 'last resort' but instead needs to be hailed as a great opportunity.
"Fundamentally we need to ensure the application process is as simple and stress-free as possible. This includes pulling back the veil on some of the myths about Clearing and making sure the vast opportunities a degree-level education affords are available to all applicants who are able to take advantage of it.
"At LSBU we operate a sophisticated Clearing operation which is designed to make the process as simple as possible for applicants to find the right course. In addition to speaking to trained professionals who can talk them through their options, we ensure our academics are available to answer any questions. We also host drop-in advice and information sessions for anyone looking to applying for an undergraduate or postgraduate course."
LSBU student Holly Wright gained four A levels and took up a place at a university in the Midlands, but decided to explore her options in London and discovered LSBU's BSc Child Development Psychology fitted perfectly with what she wanted, and so she took advantage of Clearing to transfer.
Holly said: "At first I did not realise I could use Clearing for transferring. I think that there is a misconception of Clearing being a rushed process but it was actually a really smooth experience. The LSBU team is really helpful and I even got the opportunity to speak to a lecturer who showed interest in my personal experiences and goals."