When Clearing isn't clear

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

I had hoped this year to avoid writing about exams, exam boards, universities, courses, student joy, student pain, grade inflation, etc etc.  However, as August becomes more autumnal, it's not to be.

Call me naive, but I really did think that the university courses available through the UCAS clearing system were available to all students applying with suitable qualifications no matter where they live in the UK – albeit that there are differences in costs.

Not so if you're from Scotland and hope to get into a Scottish university via clearing.  This link shows that there are 47 courses available at the University of Edinburgh if you are from England.  If you are from Scotland, however, this link shows that there are only 3.

You don't need me to tell you that this overt discrimination against Scottish students whose parents pay Scottish taxes by a Scottish university with the connivance of the Scottish government is so that they can get the fees.

If I were living in Scotland and were caught up in this, I'd be incandescent with rage.  As it is, I'm just further depressed by the hypocrisy of institutions who spend £zillions telling everyone how ethical they are.

Time, in every sense, for a break.  Back in September ...


Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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  • Thanks for this, Bill. V interesting. I asked about and James Loxley, a professor of English at Edinburgh University, had an explanation. He says the number of Scottish government places on each course it set, but there's no cap on the total number of places so surplus places go to applicants from outside Scotland. In theory, this manages the distribution of places across the subject spectrum but does not prevent Scottish students from attending HE. From the perspective of Scottish students, that makes the central issue whether HE should be more supply or demand led in terms of the subjects, rather than a matter of HE access.

  • Thanks, Eric. The point,then,seems to be that access to Scottish universities by Scottish students is rationed because it is tax-payer funded. There is no such rationing for English students to the same courses, even if they end up paying nothing in the end because they never earn enough to be above the threshold. This does not sound too progressive to me.