We’ve been tracking student thoughts and feelings for over eight years now; including the once-in-a-generation (lifetime?) global pandemic and digital poverty, from partying behaviours to online syllabuses. And what else did we track? Clearing. And as we're still reeling from the aftermath of 2020, and this summer is shaping up to be yet another fiercely competitive Clearing season, insights have never been so important. 

The National Clearing Survey was born from the desire to truly understand student motivations, feelings and behaviours - and it’s going to be crucial this year. Here’s why you need to be involved in this year’s project and a bit about what we already know: 

Before we dive in, take part for free in this year's National Clearing Survey project here.

It won’t be news to anyone, but in Clearing 2020, seven in 10 students said they felt the government did not handle the exam results situation effectively at all. But once the u-turn was announced, 65% of students said they felt that the government made the right decision to use teacher predicted grades, rather than using the algorithm. 

Before the results u-turn, six in 10 students had been offered a place at their firm choice university. One in four students said that they had been offered a place at their insurance choice originally, and 15% at another university.

After the results u-turn, 3% more said they got offered places at their firm university choices, 3% more at their insurance choices, and 2% at another university. So as we can all see, there was a whole lot of confusion and movement. 

And over one in 10 prospective students told us they used Clearing to apply to university last year. Since then, we’ve found that 43% of students are not completely confident with their institution choice.

Currently, no one knows the long-lasting effects of Coronavirus or what this all means for the Class of 2021 and beyond. But the focus for student marketers will pivot to retention and engagement, as the competition heats up and last year's deferrers and furlough-caused retrainers are all to play for. Insight will be what helps you understand this new landscape: and cue the National Clearing Survey. 

Every year we continue to evolve and adjust our questions to incorporate everything an institution needs to know to get a true picture of this year’s Clearing. What decisions were made, how students are feeling, and what they’ll be doing in the future.

As ever, you’ll receive anonymised, raw data for your institution which will allow you to benchmark the actions of your Clearing students with the average findings. Competition has never been so tough, and this is a resource that can help you get ahead, knowing where you sit alongside the rest of the country’s institutions. Similarly, taking part you’ll receive a copy of the report before non-participant institutions: talk about the exclusives.

But, most importantly, this work helps make the life of a Clearing student that much easier, something the whole sector can agree is important right now. We’re also offering your students the chance to win prizes to help with their studies - and because it’s free for you to take part, what’s the reason not to?

There’s still space for you to get involved and if the stats in this article already help you paint a fuller picture, the National Clearing Survey is just what you need to be a part of. Get in touch here, and we’ll set you up straight away

Article by

Eleana Davidson Native Author

Eleana Davidson

Senior Marketing Executive