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Sheffield University offering places to students who exceed expectations

It is a big day for students across the region as they pick up their A Level results.

But while it is normal for students who have done worse than they expected to go through clearing, Sheffield University has launched a new scheme encouraging students who have done better than predicted to ring up for a place.

Paul White, from the university, says students should apply for courses they really want to do:

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Ucas: Half a million people to go to university

The total number of people going to university could top half a million for the first time this year, the university admissions service Ucas said.

Record numbers of students are heading to university this year. Credit: PA

Record numbers of students are heading to university this year, with almost 400,000 accepted on to degree courses already.

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Warning: Too many students 'pick meaningless degrees'

Too many students are still opting for "meaningless" degrees instead of vocational courses to help plug the country's skills gap, a leading industry qualifications body has said.

Too many students are still opting for Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Excellence, Achievement and Learning Limited, which oversees qualifications for the engineering, manufacturing and building services sectors, sounded the warning as thousands of young people were set to pick up their A-level results.

The body is proposing a Ucas-style clearing service for apprenticeships and work placements, cross-party talks at government level and an inquiry into the Careers Service.

"We need one million new skilled workers in the engineering sector alone in the next six years to cope with demand - and as it stands, that just won't happen," said Elizabeth Bonfield, EAL head of business innovation.

This is a grave situation which has been in the making for decades. The pursuance of low-value often meaningless university degrees is still being led by those that influence the decision making of our young people.

– Elizabeth Bonfield, EAL
  1. National

Most students 'not prepared for missing A-level grades'

54% of students with a conditional offer from a university aren't prepared for the possibility that they might miss out on their first and second choice places, a new study has revealed.

The survey of 1,000 A-level students by Which? University also found:

  • Only 48% are confident they'll get the grades they need for their first choice.
  • 28% haven't thought about what they'll do if they miss their first choice.
  • 70% haven't researched clearing.
  • 83% of those surveyed have a second, insurance choice as a back up, but 40% of those don't actually want to go to their back-up and for 23%, the grades for their insurance choice are the same as or higher than those for their preferred course.

A record number of sixth-formers, 34.8%, applied for university this year, but an estimated 30% of students will miss out on their first choice place.

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Top tips for A-Level Results Day

A-Level results day is a long awaited date etched into many people's diaries, but according to the University of Bradford it does not need to be as stress filled as the actual exams.

A-Level results Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Mark Garratt, Director of External Affairs at the University of Bradford, said: "It's a big day for students, parents and teachers, and anxieties run high, but with a little preparation beforehand it is possible to survive it and make plans for a very successful future."

He advises "It is important to keep calm and be prepared for all possible outcomes.

"You may do better than you think and wish to 'adjust' your choice, or you may not achieve the grades you need and have to enter Clearing, the process through which students can apply to any university spaces not yet filled.

"Either way it's important to have a Plan B in place before 14 August.

"Think about what subject areas you're interested in, where your strengths lie, and what universities you'd like to study at.

"Do lots of research so you are ready to take action as quickly as possible to secure the university or course you want once you know your results. "

Here are a useful list of top tips for surviving results day and the Clearing process:

  • Stay calm, don't panic and get organised.
  • Draw up a list of alternative options available to you. That list should include alternative courses and universities.
  • Think about where you want to go and what the university you're looking at has to offer. Is there an opportunity for a placement year? What are the graduate prospects? What is the student experience like? Will you be using state-of-the-art equipment in your study? Who will you be taught by?
  • Be realistic in choosing courses you want to study. Time is of the essence on results day. Use UCAS and check the course against your grades before calling.
  • On the day do recognise that if you're not getting offers for a course, due to your grades, you might need to rethink your chosen subject area or University you're applying to.
  • Visit the universities you are considering attending where possible and remember to take someone with you for impartial advice.
  • Make sure you're contactable and can find information easily. Be close to a phone and computer.
  • Do remember to stay calm. A-level results day and Clearing can be a daunting time, especially if you've suffered a disappointment with grades. Ringing up universities for a place through Clearing might be the last thing you feel like doing. Remember, thousands of other students in the UK will be in the same position and universities deal with the process of Clearing every year.
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