The annual A-level results have come with the usual pictures of beaming students with straight A’s who have got just what they need to study their dream courses at top universities. But while many have their offers in the bag, there are thousands more scrambling to grab a place through clearing.
As many as 53,500 students who did not get the grades they hoped for are now hoping to grab a place through clearing, perhaps ending up somewhere far from where they expected.
Professor of Education at Buckingham University Alan Smithers told the Daily Mail: “This year is probably the hardest ever to get your first choice university place if your grades don’t immediately meet the university’s requirements.” The Mail, perhaps predictably, reflected on the fact that fewer places are on offer to British students overall in a year when places for overseas students have risen.
Those who end up somewhere unexpected might feel a little discombobulated by the prospect, but relief at getting in might be turned into delight at having an opportunity that extends beyond anything that might be achieved in the classroom or exam hall. It means this may offer a chance to become successful student influencers.
With this could come the opportunity to earn extra money, developing a successful second string as an influencer that may prove as successful – or more so – than their planned post-graduation career choice.
Speaking to the Guardian about the thousands in clearing, Lee Elliot Major of Exeter University, the UK’s first professor of social mobility, said that, given this year’s students were the first post-Covid cohort who actually got their grades in exam rooms unlike the previous two years, they may be seen as “the unluckiest” year group of all students when it comes to the impact of the pandemic.
For that reason, those who do make it through clearing to land a place may decide to make the most of their good luck and see what they might achieve by becoming an influencer.