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UCAS Clearing 2023: The Ultimate Guide for UAE Applicants to UK Universities

Updated: Aug 31, 2023



Every year, many students secure their dream UK university spots through UCAS Clearing. In 2022 alone, over 50,000 applicants achieved success this way. If you are based in the UAE and looking at UK university options, understanding Clearing can be essential.


What is UCAS Clearing?

UCAS Clearing is a lifeline for students looking for a last-minute university placement in the UK. It connects students who are still seeking places with universities that have course vacancies.


Why consider Clearing?

You might turn to Clearing if:

- Your firm (CF) or insurance (CI) university choices fell through.

- You opt to decline your university offer, initiating self-release to enter Clearing.

- You have applied after the 30th of June.


Top UCAS Clearing strategies for UAE students:


1. Search for Similar Courses

Scan universities from your initial top 5 for available spots. Also, check if your top choice university offers related courses available through Clearing.


2. Prepare a Backup List

Identify alternative universities and courses. Research to ensure they align with your interests and aspirations.


3. Understand Application Processes

Different universities have different Clearing application methods. Familiarize yourself with each procedure to avoid glitches on the crucial day. Keep your UCAS ID and Clearing number handy.


4. Phone Over Email

Post-results, directly call your chosen universities. They are equipped to assist students during Clearing, ensuring you get accurate and timely information.


5. Be Interview-ready

Approach these calls as mini-interviews. Be ready to discuss your interests, explain grade discrepancies, and showcase your enthusiasm.


6. Document Everything

Note down details from your calls – the representative's name, discussions, and any commitments made.


7. Evaluate Offers

Review all offers received and their acceptance deadlines. Remember, you are not compelled to accept the first offer.


8. UCAS Clearing Acceptance

After choosing a university, update it on your UCAS Clearing account. Once registered, you have 24 hours to finalize your decision.


9. Switching Choices

If reconsidering a prior university offer, use the 'self-release' feature. Only do this after securing a guaranteed Clearing offer.


What if Clearing does not work out?

Do not despair! You have a number of alternative ways forward:


1. Exam Retakes

Think about retaking specific exams or switching subjects. You can prepare for exam resits with Carfax tutors in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or online as well as at Carfax College in Oxford, where we run specialized A level retake courses.


2. Gap Year

Reflect on your goals and maybe reapply later. Use the year productively, enhancing your future applications.


3. Alternative Career Routes

Perhaps university is not your path. Consider apprenticeships or entry-level roles to kickstart your career.


Regardless of outcomes on the results day, remember: one day does not dictate your entire future. Often, unexpected turns lead to the most rewarding destinations.


Need further guidance?

You may want advice on how to make the most of your results and to optimize your university options. Contact Carfax Education Consultants in Dubai or Abu Dhabi for expert support tailored for UAE students looking for UK university placements.

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