44,000 will go through clearing

WHETHER champagne corks pop or parents offer a shoulder to cry on, today will see nervous 18-year-olds around the country opening their A-level results.

WHETHER champagne corks pop or parents offer a shoulder to cry on, today will see nervous 18-year-olds around the country opening their A-level results.

For those planning on going to university, the time can be particularly stressful. But, if results don't match a student's dream course requirements, there are always clearing places available.

On the same day A-Level results are announced universities open their doors and state which places are still available on their courses.

This, combined with the A-level grades they'll accept for their courses, means those who've been unsuccessful in gaining their top choice, have a second chance to enrol on a course.

Last year, as many as 44,000 people gained a place during clearing, according to Kate Butland, customer services manager at UCAS.

She said: “It allows people who have not been given the grades they were after to look for university courses, so they don't feel they've wasted two years.

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“There are plenty of courses out there they can look at.”

But Zena Everett, a career coach with more than 20 years experience and managing director of company Second Careers isn't so sure.

She said: “Getting a degree is a good thing, but recently we've seen graduates coming to career coaches because they need to make conscious decisions about what they want their career to look like.

“If you're considering a degree course through clearing, you mustn't put yourself in a situation where you're just doing something for the sake of it.”