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University Clearing Success Stories in 2023 

University Clearing Success Stories in 2023 

Northumbria University has surveyed current A-level students and university students who applied through Clearing to find out about their experiences and debunk common myths.

Here you can hear from Clearing alumni about their experiences in more detail. 

  • One in six students go through Clearing because they want to change to a different university, which is what Elise Taylor chose to do and is now going on to do a Master’s in Forensics at Northumbria
  • University alumni student (Renee Fraser-Shepherd) who went through clearing is now a successful entrepreneur: “A foundation year gave me extra time to develop as a professional” 
  • A spokesperson at Northumbria University shared their advice for Clearing

Clearing has long been seen as somewhat of a negative experience, which should not be the case. There are numerous reasons why people go through Clearing (switching courses being the most popular reason according to a recent survey from Northumbria University). 

To help students better understand how Clearing works and debunk some common myths, Northumbria University surveyed both current A-level students and university students who applied through Clearing about their experiences. Additionally, Northumbria University has spoken with Clearing Alumni to find out more about their experience in depth. 

1 in 6 students go through Clearing because they want to change to a different university

A recent survey by Northumbria University shows over a quarter (26%) go because they decide to change course (the most popular reason), 20% go through clearing because they wanted to take a year out and 15% of students go through Clearing because they want to change to a different university. 

On results day, Elise Taylor had been accepted at her first-choice institution but reconsidered this offer after changing her mind about where she wanted to go to University. Elise went through Clearing to find her ideal course, choosing to study Psychology at Northumbria.

Although Elise knew that Clearing was an option, she wasn’t very familiar with the process. “I called the Clearing hotline and they guided me through the whole thing,” she said. “I always felt like I was in the loop with how my application was progressing and I was confident that if I had questions, someone would be around to answer them”. 

Elise also comments on the support she has had post accepting the university clearing offer,

“I’ve also had careers support. I’m in my final year now and have been thinking about what I want to do after graduating. I met with the careers team who suggested I look at a graduate scheme. They pointed me in the right direction to find volunteering opportunities that would help me get more experience in the Forensics field before I started my Master’s.”

“My advice to anyone about to go through the Clearing process would be to not panic. It was actually really simple, made easier as everyone I spoke to went above and beyond to help me out.” 

Clearing Alumni successfully launches her own business as part of her course 

After not quite meeting the grades she needed to get onto her original course, which is the main reason 22% of people go through Clearing, Renee Fraser-Shepherd was offered a foundation year at Northumbria studying Entrepreneurial Business Management and didn’t look back. 

Renee tells us, “I was apprehensive at first as I was keen to get started with my degree,” Renee said. “But, it was by far the best thing for me. It has been a privilege to get an extra year to understand my subject and the business world.”

As part of the course, Renee successfully launched her own business, Sloobie Skiwear. Commenting on this achievement Renee said;

“I’ve been presented with some great opportunities throughout my degree and my professional network has grown significantly, which is something I can take with me as I continue to grow my business. The Student and Graduate Enterprise team have also been a fantastic asset. With their help, I successfully launched Sloobie in December 2022 and have since been featured in Glamour magazine and had a pop-up in Fenwick.” 

There are many reasons which bring students to the clearing hotline and Renee is a great ambassador for foundation year offers. “It can be quite upsetting if you don’t get the results you were hoping for, but I wouldn’t change a thing about my university experience,” she said. “A lot more people do foundation years than you think. And I met people in that very first year who I’m now best friends with.

“There are a lot of mixed emotions on results day, but my best tip is to not panic. If you, like me, have to look for alternatives to your original choice, remember that it can be a really positive thing. A foundation year gave me extra time to develop as a professional.”

A spokesperson at Northumbria University adds:

“Keep in mind that universities have dedicated staff available to assist you throughout your Clearing experience, so feel free to get in touch for advice and support. Also, think about seeking advice from friends or family who have navigated Clearing before, as their insights could provide reassurance and aid in your decision-making.

“Above all, recognise that undergoing Clearing doesn’t indicate failure. Instead, it presents a chance to discover fresh possibilities and discover a path that aligns with your preferences.”

For more information and support on how to navigate through the Clearing process this year, please visit Northumbria University’s Clearing Hub.

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