The University of Sheffield admissions boss urges universities not to put pressure on students in clearing

Liz Carlile, head of admissions at The University of Sheffield
Liz Carlile, head of admissions at The University of Sheffield

The head of admissions at The University of Sheffield is calling on universities not to put pressure on students to accept offers during the clearing process.

Thousands of students will be getting their A-Level results on Thursday - but for some they may achieve better or worse grades than expected and have to go through clearing.

The University of Sheffield, Firth Court

The University of Sheffield, Firth Court

The process involves matching students' results with available courses but Liz Carlile, head of admissions at The University of Sheffield, said universities should not be putting pressure of students to hurriedly accept an offer - instead ensuring that the decision they make is the right one for them.

She urged students to be prepared ahead of Thursday, ensure they have the correct information to hand including their GCSE results, and an idea of where or what course they would like to study.

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She said that some universities do not offer accommodation for students coming through clearing while others can put unnecessary pressure on a student to accept a place.

Mrs Carlile said: "It's really important that people feel that they are definitely in the right places for them and they have had enough time to consider the decision.

"For some it could mean considering a place that was different from the place they thought they were going to for the last year.

"It's a big decision to make in a short amount of time and universities shouldn't be putting that type of pressure on people to accept an offer.

"We give people the chance to visit on a virtual or physical open day and they can come and visit and ask any questions they want, talk to students, and see accommodation before they make a decision."

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Around 300 courses at The University of Sheffield have at least one or two places available for students coming through the process.

"There are less 18-year-olds at the moment this year and so there is quite a lot of places still available so students coming through clearing can really look around to see what there is," she said.

"Because students are coming to us outside of the UCAS system they can get lots of different offers and hold onto all of these before making their final decision."

The university also has bursaries and scholarships for some students coming through clearing.

Mrs Carlile added that the stigma around clearing, that it was for students that had not achieved the grades they expected, has disappeared.

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Last year the university had more than 5,000 phone calls from students on A-Level results day.

Mrs Carlile said: "It's a really marvellous day where we are able to speak to a lot of students.

"Many have done really well in their A-Level results and have exceeded their expectations and it's really nice to say we do have some spaces for them.

"The cap on universities having a certain number of students was lifted a few years ago so we have capacity to take more students.

"The university has expanded so we have more teaching space too."

To find out more about clearing at The University of Sheffield visit www.sheffield.ac.uk/clearing