Advice for Parents, Carers and Supporters

Any gold medal winner will say that the secret to their success is often the people behind the scenes – their coach, teammates, family and friends.

Lots of people applying to study at university through Clearing would say the same thing.

If you’re the parent, carer, friend, relative or supporter of someone looking to apply  through Clearing and they’ve come to you for help, it’s good to know the ins and outs of the process, and what you can do to help them get ahead and land a place on the course that’s best for them.

Clearing is designed to give people another chance at getting into university. You can apply through Clearing if you’re applying for university for the first time in 2020, you’re not holding any offers from your UCAS application, you didn’t meet the conditions of your offer or you achieved better results than expected.

Whatever their situation, here are a few ways in which you can support your applicant, from preparation to results day.

Get ready

The key to Clearing success is all in the preparation.

Before results day (in Scotland, that’s 4 August 2020 and for those in the rest of the UK it’s 13 August), applicants can check out which courses have Clearing places and what the entry requirements are through university websites.

On the run up to Clearing opening, applicants should do the following:

  • Identify the courses they’re interested in
  • Check out the entry requirements for each course
  • Rank their courses, with their most wanted at the top
  • Do some research on different institutions
  • Make a note of the phone numbers to call – at UWS, it’s 0800 027 1000

As tempting as it might be to try influence someone else’s decision, take a step back, let them do what’s best for them and support the decision that makes them happy.

With Clearing, applicants have to call universities to enquire about places. You can help them prepare by asking some basic questions they might be asked, such as why they want to study this specific course and what they can bring to it. Encourage them to dig out their Personal Statement too and make sure they’re familiar with what they wrote.

Our Clearing Checklist will help applicants get ready for the big day. Applicants can call our Student Recruitment team too on 0800 027 1000 or email clearing@uws.ac.uk to discuss their options in advance. We can’t talk to parents, carers, family or friends unless the applicant has put you down as their nominated person on the UCAS form or they give us permission to do so.

The big day

On results day, your applicant is bound to be feeling nervous. Try and make yourself available, even if that’s on the phone, and encourage them to keep calm, keep an open mind and talk through what they’re feeling.

Once exam results are out – 4 August for Higher students in Scotland, and 13 August for A-level students – encourage your applicant to check UCAS Track first thing to see what the status of their application is.

If Track shows they’re in Clearing, if their grades aren’t quite what they expected, it’s time to start calling and put all that preparation into practice. Clearing operates on a first-come, first-served basis, so it’s important that applicants get up early and hit the phone. They can talk through their options and it may be that entry requirements have changed and there will still be vacancies in their subject area of choice.

If they haven’t quite made it this year, don’t rule out re-sitting exams, reapplying next year or undertaking a further education college course as an alternative route into university. At UWS, our Student Recruitment team will be able to offer guidance on what to do next. Whatever happens, they will have options.

Cheer them on

Calls made and offers received, it’s time for your applicant to make their decision. They’ll be given a deadline by which to get back to the university – so use that time to help them weigh up their options. They can then accept the offer through UCAS Track by clicking ‘Add Clearing Choice’.

Once a Clearing offer has been accepted, the applicant can’t change their mind. So talk it through and make sure they’re certain.

The next step is to start planning for student life – there’s still time for students who enter through Clearing to apply for student finance and accommodation. At UWS, students will be sent all the information they need to start preparing for the next phase of their life.

Then it’s the most important part – time to celebrate!

Like any race, Clearing can feel like a lot of pressure, even for the supporting team – but the feeling you get when they cross the finish line makes it all worth it.


Contact our Clearing Team today 

+44(0)141 849 4101

We’re here to answer whatever questions you may have to help make the Clearing process as simple and stress-free as possible. Lines are open between 8.45am-4.45pm Monday to Friday, with extended opening hours on the dates listed below: 

  • Tuesday 4 August – 8.30am-6pm 
  • Wednesday 5 August – 8.30am-6pm 
  • Thursday 6 August – 8.30am-6pm 
  • Friday 7th August – 8.30am-6pm 

Opening times will return to 8.45am-4.45pm from Monday 10 August. 

Our lines may be busier at certain times and we thank you for your patience in advance. Rest assured that our advisors will do everything they possibly can to answer your call as quickly as possible in order to guide you through the Clearing process.


Guide to clearing

We have put together a page to help you understand clearing and where you are on your clearing journey

If you have any questions you can email us at clearing@uws.ac.uk

Clearing 2020

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity. Charity number SC002520.

© 2020 University of the West of Scotland

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