Is your clearing system equipped for the student experience? thumbnail image Published on 4th March 2020 by Gemma Harding

Clearing. It’s an incredibly important and potentially stressful time for students, and for universities too. Are you confident that when the time comes, you can give students the quality experience that they expect?


Fortunately, help is at hand. In this guide, we outline the basics of what university clearing is, what the process involves and how, as an expert in outsourced call handling, disaster recovery and more, we can help you to manage clearing effectively and efficiently – delivering the best experience to students and protecting your institution’s reputation.


What is university clearing?


Put simply, university clearing describes the procedures by which universities fill available places on their courses. This can be by finding students who didn’t get the results they needed to be accepted onto their first-choice programme, or students who decided they wanted to go to uni after the deadline for applying had already passed. Clearing can also place students who change their mind about what and where they wish to study.


Effectively, it is a second chance for students to get the places they want – and for universities to address the problem of unfilled courses.  


How does university clearing work?


Clearing is a service of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). The vast majority of universities take part in this process, and the UCAS clearing website typically features over 30,000 course vacancies on its official search hub. The majority of these vacancies are added from A Level results day. It is then up to students to search this hub to find courses they are interested in and to contact the relevant universities to apply.


The process runs from early July until mid-October. Given the numbers of students and courses involved, this can be a frantic time for everyone involved.


What are student clearing services?


Student clearing services is the general term used to describe the administration involved in matching students with courses and guiding them through the relevant application processes. Because of the compressed timetable involved, and the high stakes for students and universities, there is a lot of pressure associated with clearing services. Everything must run smoothly in order to ensure vacancies are filled, and students get the best outcomes.


How can CallCare help?


CallCare were committed, organised and communicative from the outset of the project. I would wholeheartedly recommend other institutions using their services.” – Head of Admissions, City of London University.


This is where we come in. As a university, it can be impossible to anticipate what volume of calls will come in during clearing. This makes it very difficult to know if your current setup will be able to cope. 


At CallCare, we’re experts in offering outsourced call centre solutions, and we can support your in-house team during periods of high call volumes. We can take all calls on your behalf, or simply the ones your handlers are too busy to answer. Having this additional capacity on hand whenever you need it can give you vital breathing room during this uncertain period. You will have the confidence that students will be dealt with promptly and professionally, making their experience as smooth and stress-free as possible.


As an added benefit, our 24/7 call centre means we’re available around the clock. This can be especially useful when you’re dealing with overseas students who may be more likely to call out of hours.


We can also stress test your phone system to give you a clear idea of how well prepared you are for the busy clearing period. We use actual people to make calls, rather than computers. This ensures a more realistic result, making it easier for you to troubleshoot any issues and ultimately provide a reliable and effective service when it matters most.


Your communication system going down can be a nightmare whenever it happens, but it’s particularly problematic during clearing when students are relying on you. We give you the chance to test your disaster recovery protocols so that you are primed if the worst should happen.


In short, by outsourcing to CallCare, you can rest assured that your student experience will be professional, responsive and of the highest standard. Our end-to-end solutions take away the worry of missed calls, long hold times and disastrous system failures.


From taking students’ results over the phone, to creating an outbound campaign to support the filling of scholarship places, to providing a backup should the worst happen, our services provide 24-hour support.


To discover more about how CallCare has worked with UK educational organisations, please visit our clearing support page.