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Students 'need to make good choices' when entering clearing

21/07/2011 Joanna
It is important that school leavers make the right choices when going through clearing and do not rush to sign up to the first course they are offered.

This is the opinion of Johnny Rich, editor of, who said people must be careful.

"Clearing is not as much of a system as people think, it is mostly a lack of a system. UCAS does its valiant best to impose order on it but it is a mad scramble by universities to fill their places and by students to be the ones they fill them with," he commented.

"This does not always work out well for either the university or the student, but particularly not the student because they may find themselves doing courses they wouldn't otherwise have considered at universities they wouldn't have otherwise considered, in parts of the country they wouldn't have otherwise considered."

Although students are required to make decisions quickly, it is important they are making the right ones, Mr Rich said.

"If they can't make it a good choice, they should drop out of the process and apply again next year, even though they will have the new fees next year. It won't actually make that much difference to finances once they're at university," he explained.

Mr Rich suggested that going to the wrong university and being forced to drop out is a worse scenario than opting for the right course next year and paying fees at a higher level.

He added that this does not mean the universities offering places through clearing are not good places to study at, but students should be going there because they want to and not because there are no other options.

The cap on university tuition fees is set to rise to £9,000 next year, with many institutions planning to charge at this level.

Posted by Katy Kearns

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