The rush is about to begin – university clearing has started, and places are being snapped up quicker than hot cakes.

But what exactly is clearing season? It’s that time of the year when people without the necessary qualifications can nab a place at their favoured institution, on exactly the course they desire.

Business grad student

It’s a system that understands the necessity behind giving poor pupils the chance to develop, becoming business dynamos in a way that their headmaster could never have predicted.

Indeed, the adolescent mind is too malleable to predict where they’d end up. That snotty, awkward teenager failing their A Levels could become a Poet Laureate or excel in the sciences if they’re given the opportunity.

Comedian Stephen Fry has often recounted how he was a poor and unruly pupil at school, only to find his voice when he enrolled in university. Now he’s a national institution and widely considered to be one of the most intelligent celebrities on our telly screens.

He’s one example of many – thousands of successful business people lacked the motivation to study in secondary school, only to excel at their interests once they were able to break free of the shackles of school uniforms and stern teachers.

Working classes and second chances

For many poorer pupils, university clearing provides the time to get their finances in check. Tuition fees have risen across the board in English and Welsh universities, with some charging £9,000 for four years of education.

If Universities UK, the representative body which speaks for all British universities, get their way, the £9,000 fees cap will be removed entirely.

Working class students require more time to accrue finances, gain notification from loan authorities and secure a job near their favoured university. Time is precious when you’re on a tight budget, and university clearing can give students breathing space to figure out the state of their finances.

Salford Business School students
photo credit: University of Salford Press Office / Flickr

Fight the uni apathy

Newspapers, mainly of the tabloid variety, are reluctant to admit that universities contribute to the job market positively.

But if you’re searching for an entry point in business, a degree can give you a solid foundation in everything you need to know. Most businesses require a specialist knowledge, and without an education beneath your feet you’ll be riding a wave of naivety that’ll end in failure.

Not all entrepreneurs have a degree qualification, but those that do don’t regret it.

The media’s reaction to university is possibly one aspect of a wider apathy towards education, alongside funding cuts and higher entry fees.

Don’t be dissuaded – clearing season is the time to re-evaluate your choices, and head into education on a second chance.