18 Aug 2011

Student stress at Ucas website blip

The website which confirms places for students at universities was shut down this morning, on A-level results day, as thousands scrambled for places. It has since recovered.

The university admissions service Ucas was forced to close its Track service at 8.40am after traffic to the site quadrupled as students began receiving their A-level results.

The Track service confirms whether students have made the grade to get into their chosen universities. The site was only fully restored just before midday.

In a statement, Ucas insisted that students’ ability to choose a clearing place will not have been affected by the closure.

“Ucas Track services have now been restored after a period of intermittent disruption for some users,” the statement said. “The ability to choose a clearing place has not been impacted, and this function will open late afternoon as planned.”

Missed the grades? Don’t panic
The university admissions service, Ucas, has a helpline on 0871 468 0468 or try the Ucas website. They are also giving advice on Twitter.
The National Exam Results Helpline on 0808 100 8000 can give independent advice and Push website is an independent university guide.

The pass rate has improved for the 29th year in a row, with 97.8 per cent of people achieving at least an E grade. But the figures showed big changes in which subjects students were choosing to study. While the uptake of maths has leapt dramatically, modern languages are in decline.

Can’t afford a Gap Year? Think again
Missed out on a university place? Take a Gap Year, says spoof backpacker Orlando, “and remember, a gap yah will only cost you an extra 20K. Literally a bargain”. Channel 4 News begs to differ. Read more here.

Record numbers

More than 384,000 would-be students are believed to have already had university applications accepted, according to the latest Ucas figures – a record number. Around 185,000 people are eligible for clearing, which is more than last year.

Students are scrambling to get a place ahead of an increase in tuition fees, which comes in next year. From 2012, universities are allowed to charge up to £9,000 a year for their courses.

But many will miss out – more than 600,000 applied to university this year but there are only around 400,000 places available in total.

The university scramble follows another record year of A-level results. Around 250,000 students are getting their grades today.