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Clearing advice for parents, guardians and carers

Clearing for 2019 is now closed.

We're open for applications for entry in 2020. Find out more about how to apply for an undergraduate course at the University of Stirling.

Exam results day can be a stressful time for everyone, whatever the outcome. Are you a parent, guardian or carer of a young person who may have missed or exceeded their predicted exam grades? There's no need to panic as they can still use UCAS Clearing to find an available university place.

Top tips for supporting your student through Clearing

Hear from Neil McGillivray, Head of UK and Europe Recruitment and Shona Barrie, Director of Admissions and Access with their top tips for parents, guardians and carers on how to support their student through the Clearing process.

What is Clearing?

You can be a real source of support to your student by getting to grips with the Clearing process and preparing in advance.

Clearing is part of the UCAS application process for undergraduates. It matches applicants to university places that are not yet filled. It gives students a chance to explore new options and find the right university place for them.

Last year over 64,300 UK students gained places through Clearing so it’s become a common way for students to progress to further education.

Students can use Clearing as an opportunity to secure a place at university if they:

  • didn’t receive any offers
  • declined the offers they did receive
  • exceeded their predicted grades
  • didn’t meet the criteria for conditional offers
  • applied after 30 June
  • want to change university
See our guide to Clearing for more information

How to prepare for exam results day

Follow our advice for parents, guardians and carers for exam results day:

  • Make sure you fully understand the UCAS Clearing process. Read our simple guide to Clearing.
  • Do your research and work with your student to identify possible universities and alternative courses they might be interested in.
  • You'll be able to register to get email updates with lots of useful information about Clearing at the University of Stirling.
  • We'll publish our available Clearing course places later in June so there’s plenty of time to see our options before exam results day.
  • Most universities will have a Clearing helpline where your student can speak to an expert adviser about their options. Note down all the phone lines of the universities you think your student might want to contact. The University of Stirling’s Clearing helpline is +44 (0) 1786 466166.
  • Make sure your student has updated their contact details with UCAS / Track so that their chosen universities can easily contact them.

On exam results day

As a parent, guardian or carer get prepared for Clearing on results day:

  • Make sure you’re available on the day to provide support.
  • It can be a nerve-wracking day but stay calm and positive and let your student know there’s still plenty of options available to them.
  • Once your student’s exam results are available, get them to log into UCAS track so they can see if they’re eligible for Clearing.

Start early

Make sure your student contacts the universities they're interested in as soon as they know their results. Please note that we need to speak to the applicant directly and can’t discuss your student’s application with you unless we have agreed consent from the student.

There’s a few things you can do to help your student get the best out of their phone call.

  • Make sure they’ve fully charged up their phone the night before.
  • They’ll need their UCAS personal ID and Clearing number as well as the details of all their qualifications.
  • Ensure they have read over their UCAS personal statement and have it to hand. The university may ask them questions around why they want to study a particular course at that university. Help them to prepare answers to these types of questions in advance.
  • Before they make contact get them to make a list of any questions they might want to ask about the university, the courses they’re interested in, or any aspect of student life such as accommodation, travel and support services.

What happens next?

Once your student has got an initial offer over the phone they’ll be able to go onto UCAS track to formally accept the offer, giving the University full access to their UCAS record. They’ll then be able to start an application for accommodation as well as student funding.

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