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Page last updated at 09:02 GMT, Wednesday, 28 March 2012 10:02 UK

Ucas changes 'do not solve problems' of clearing


The university admissions system, Ucas, is recommending that improvements be made to the central clearing system but steps back its initial idea of moving to a post-results admissions system.

Killian Troy-Donovan, a student at Bristol University who went through the Ucas process last year, described how we went into the clearing process after dropping a grade in his exams and not getting his first choice.

He said he found the system "loose... and quite strange" and said that the changes being made "do not really get to the heart of the problem".

An he explained that students "do not have a clear idea of what you will be doing" for the next three years before their exams.

Ucas chief executive Mary Curnock Cook said that they are proud that the UK system makes a "very rounded assessment of a student's potential".

She added that the fear is that "compressing the process... becomes just about the qualifications" like the system in Australia.

She said the universities are going through a selection process and "are dealing with a sector with a huge variety of universities and students with different needs.

"By transforming the clearing process we can make it a fairer process for people to apply late," she said, adding that "it can be very motivating to have a conditional offer from a university" to get students through their exams.

But Killian Troy-Donovan maintained that this is "not solving the problem... it is a minor restructuring".

He insisted that restructuring of a school year would solve the problems "rather than shoring up the system already in place".

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