UAE and A-levels: How the UCAS results and clearing system works

British universities have thousands of clearing places available this year

British universities have thousands of courses with spaces still available this year. Navin Khianey for The National
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A-level exam results are released on Thursday morning — and pupils who applied for university places will find out if they have been accepted or not.

Pupils across the UAE can access their A-level grades in two ways: by visiting their school campus for the physical results, or by logging on to their school system using a unique username and password, distributed by school staff.

At 8am UK time (11am UAE time), the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service will update records for all applicants through the dedicated online track system.

At this point, users can check what conditional offers they have from their chosen universities based on their results.

Thousands of A-level pupils in the UK and abroad will have access to the track system at the same time on Thursday, so expect delays online.

If your application has not been updated, log out of the system before logging back in again.

If you are unable to check your status online due to high traffic, or if your status has not been updated on the UCAS website, you can contact your chosen universities directly for more information.

Thousands of places still available

For those who have missed out, failing to meet conditional offers, don’t fret. In some cases, the university applied for might accept you anyway, depending on other candidates' performance and average grades. Or up until October 23, you can use the "clearing" service to see which courses still have vacancies.

UCAS clearing gives prospective pupils the chance to find places on university courses, if and when future study plans don’t quite pan out. A list of the vacancies is accessible via the UCAS website.

This year, the UK's Russell Group universities — 24 of the best including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Exeter and Manchester — have a record number of clearing places available.

Manchester this year doubled the number of clearing courses to 291, while Glasgow has 529 courses with places still available.

Once you apply for clearing you will be given a unique user number. When you have made a shortlist of the courses you are interested in, you should call up each university giving them your clearing number, personal ID and the number of UCAS points gained through A-levels.

The university will then contact you throughout the clearing period if they have a place for you.