At this time last year,
Of students with no A levels 25% were unemployed
Of students newly graduated from university 25% were unemployed
Of newly graduated students who were employed, many had jobs which did not require extensive skills, training or education.
These are a few statistics you should bear in mind when considering clearing. You may access all of the information available concerning clearing through the ucas website or through the list and should also consider the following when deciding on your next move:
Do you have the necessary passion for the courses on offer?
Are your prepared to compromise?
Have you looked carefully at the details of the course(s)?
Have you investigated the employment prospects for graduates from the course?
Comments from previous students from the course would be useful.
Have you checked out the physical location and accommodation?
There are many sources of information concerning universities including of course the university websites. The Times newspaper publishes a guide which is available to subscribers. Another very useful resource is the Heap 2012, University Degree Course Offers.
A Level Resits (Retakes) and Remarks
If you have only missed your offer by a few points, you should contact your school to arrange a priority remark and inform the appropriate university. Retaking is another option and colleges such as Ashbourne offer specialized courses which have proven successful year after year. If you take some time to visit our page on A level retakes in London, you will probably be astonished at the frequency of success.
Universities in Other Countries
With the advent of £9000 per annum tuition fees, many students are considering options overseas. American universities have high fees but are also very willing to consider applications for scholarships or bursaries. Many European universities have courses which are taught entirely in English. You may obtain more information from: the British Council, www.britishcouncil.org, the Fulbright Commission, www.fulbright.org.uk, and the Association for Commonwealth Universities, www.acu.ac.uk.
The social pressure to go to university is strong. A university degree promises a well-paid job and enhanced lifetime earnings. Of course if you want to be a teacher or a doctor you must go to university. None the less, there is a significant (nearly 9%) decline in applications to UK universities from British students which means that many students are considering alternatives. Here are a few:
The Open University – will allow you to work whilst studying for a degree at your own pace.
On The Job Training is common in such professions as accountancy.
The National Apprentice Service (www.apprenticeships.gov.uk) through the Sector Skills Council has over 200 apprenticeships covering 12,000 roles.
Management Training – companies such as Marks and Spencer have always valued employees who have worked their way through the system. Such management trainees may also benefit from faster promotion, better salaries at equivalent ages and avoid the burden of debt from university study.
Gap Year – you have been on an educational treadmill for at least 13 years and now have the opportunity to get off. To paraphrase Chris Woodhead, former Chief Inspector of Schools and weekly educational columnist for the Sunday Times, Fate has presented you with an opportunity; seize it with both hands.(This article is a summary of a similar article by Chris Woodhead, former Chief Inspector of Schools, in the Sunday Times, August 19, 2012.)