Should you use an education agent for UCAS Clearing?

UCAS Clearing opens tomorrow, and international students can use Clearing, just like local students. However, should you use an education agent to help you secure a place at a UK university?

If you are unfamiliar with Clearing it is simply the way universities and colleges fill vacancies that they still have in any of their courses. UCAS notes that students can use Clearing if:

  • You are applying for a course after June 30, 2022
  • Help you find courses you can enroll in if you don’t meet the grades or requirements to access your company or insurance course choices
  • If you did not receive a conditional offer – or one that you wanted to accept – for any of the courses you applied for through UCAS
  • You have paid the multiple choice application fee of £26.50

Education officers can support students who apply study in uk.

If you decide to use an education agent for Clearing, you must ensure that they are officially registered as a Registered Center with UCAS. Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP

Should an education agent be called in?

First, it helps to understand that schools, colleges, counselors or agents can register with UCAS to become a center.

There is a few things to consider if you choose to consult an education agent:

  • The agent you are using must be registered on the UCAS portal as a UCAS Registered Center.
  • Make sure that the universities to which you apply for Clearing must be an official partner of the agency. In other words, your agent must have a contractual agreement with the university to which you are applying.
  • Obtaining an internship at a university can be difficult if the university is not an official partner of the agency.

Choosing to consult an agent to help you secure a place at a UK university can be helpful, but it does not guarantee placement in a course.

It is important to note that there are limits to what an agent can do in regards to your compensation claim, particularly if the university you are applying to is not an official partner with them. here is a list of things an agent can do with student applications:

  • Manage your application
  • Provide access to the latest information, advice and services
  • Attach references and submit your application on your behalf
  • Inform you of other universities that are in partnership with them in case the university you are applying to is not registered as their official partner

Can you check if your agent is a verified partner of your university?

The short answer is Yes. On most UK university websites there is a set of information listed under ‘country specific information’. An example is available here.

What can you do if Clearing is not possible with the help of an agent?

In the rare event that you are unable to secure a college or internship under the guidance of an agent, you may consider alternatives such as enrolling in a International First Year (IYO) program.

An IYO at a UK university could help you get into the second year of a bachelor’s program quickly. It is suitable for students who need more guidance on their English proficiency and study skills to get used to the UK higher education setting.

What’s the verdict?

There is no harm in applying through the UCAS center as they have a suite of tools to help manage student applications, in addition to accessing the latest information and advice services, and allows higher education (HE) providers to track where students are coming from.

UCAS notes that students can withdraw consent an agency to manage their applications on their behalf at all times.

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