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A student on laptop overlayed Liverpool University.

The Russell Group universities with the fewest spaces in Clearing for UK students

Two unis are only accepting international students through Clearing

With results day on Thursday, thousands of A-Level students are anxiously awaiting to see whether they get into their dream uni. But for those that don’t get into their first choice, it is expected that there will be record numbers of students in Clearing this year due to a drop in A-Level grades. This means that competition for Clearing spaces will be tougher than ever.

But in an analysis of courses currently being advertised for students, The Telegraph found that 10 Russell Group unis have more Clearing spaces available for international students than UK students.

This is likely because of the difference in tuition fees paid by UK and international students. Undergraduate tuition have been capped at £9,250 for UK students since 2017, whereas there is no limit on fees for international students.
Dr Mark Corver, former director of research at UCAS said: “With their wage and other costs continuing to rise, many universities will feel compelled to take more higher-fee international students to try to stem these losses, hitting the choice of places for UK students.”
So here are the UK universities which have the fewest spaces in Clearing for UK students.


Of the universities analysed, Newcastle had the smallest disparity between courses available for international and UK students. It has 151 available courses for UK students but 160 for international students. This included courses such as Physics with Astrophysics.


At The University of York, there are 204 places in Clearing available to UK students including courses such as Biomedical Sciences. But there are still more courses available for International students with 214 courses available.


Cardiff has 246 courses in Clearing advertised to UK students. However, it still has more courses on offer to international students with 269 being advertised.

Queen Mary University London

At Queen Mary University London, there are 292 courses in Clearing on offer to UK students. This ranges from subjects like Drama and Film studies to Drama and Linguistics. But for international students, there are 328 courses on offer.


At Nottingham, there are 183 courses advertised for UK students. However there are 253 courses on offer to international students.


There are lots of courses available to international students at The University of Glasgow with 655 courses being advertised. But for UK students, there are only 20 courses in Clearing.


At Exeter, there are very few places left in Clearing overall. However there are still fewer for UK students, with only eight courses available, than for international students who have 12 courses advertised.


The Uni of Leeds is only advertising 13 courses for UK applicants this year including nursing and midwifery. But for international students, there are 181 courses available.


The University of Durham is one of two universities with no courses in Clearing for UK students. However for international students, there are 90 courses on offer. These courses include subjects like English Literature and Natural Sciences.


Out of all the universities analysed, Liverpool had the largest gap between places for UK and international students. The University has zero courses in Clearing available to UK students compared to a huge 581 courses for international students. These courses ranged from aerospace engineering to business management and English lit.

Featured image before edits via Thought Catalog on Unsplash.

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