While foreign universities are barred from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service – and therefore clearing, which begins on 15 August – several institutions have extended their application deadline to pick up potential undergraduates left without a place.
HAN University of Applied Sciences, which has campuses in the Dutch cities of Arnhem and Nijmegen, said it extended its application deadline to 25 August this year to help attract UK students.
“We now have about 10 students from the UK on our International Bachelor programmes and are keen to attract more as we would like our student community to be as international as possible,” said Ton van Osch, student intake officer at HAN.
The University of Winnipeg in Canada said it also hoped to attract students during the clearing seasons.
“Although the University of Winnipeg is new to the UK market, we are seeing an increase in the number of students applying and seeking information about our institution,” said Prem Modha, student recruitment officer at the University of Winnipeg.
“For students who are unsuccessful in gaining a spot at a UK institution, it is good to know that there are no limits or caps on any of our programmes or majors which means there is space for anyone who applies, granted they have the entrance requirements.”
Anna Boyd, from The Student World, which is holding international university fairs in London and Manchester in October, said UK students should consider looking abroad during the clearing season.
“Although the clearing process in the UK is open until the end of September, availability on the popular courses tends to be snapped up in the first few weeks,” she said.
“It leaves those with no university place to either study a degree which might not be right for them or holding out for another 12 months to start their studies.”
Students could apply directly to an unlimited number of universities abroad, she added.
Meanwhile, young people have also been advised to consider other options apart from higher education.
Sarah Clover, communications director of the NotGoingToUni website, which lists opportunities outside higher education, said vocational training schemes and apprenticeships could be a good choice for many people.
“Schools and colleges focus too much attention on university, leaving many students believing that higher education is their only option,” she said.
However, Julius Weinberg, vice-chancellor of Kingston University, said higher education was still a good bet for most people able to access it.
“The value of a university education can’t be overstated – it is an investment that will pay dividends both academically and personally,” said Professor Weinberg.
Before receiving their A-level results, students should see which universities and courses they might be interested in if they fail to get the grades needed for their initial choices and should programme the Clearing hotline numbers of those universities into their mobile phones, Professor Weinberg advised.