Word of the Day


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Origin of the word

First recorded in the 14th century, clearing originates from the Middle English word ‘clering’.


Clearing refers to the process by which universities and colleges in Britain fill empty places on their courses.

Academic institutions offer clearing vacancies as an alternative to students who did not meet the compulsory grades agreed in their UCAS applications. If students missed the conditions of their original offers, clearing is a process by which applicants can track substitute courses with availability.

A-Level results in England, Wales and Northern Ireland were released on 17th August 2017 determining further education for many thousands of students.

A novel form of clearing introduced in recent years is ‘adjustment’, whereby students that have exceeded their expected A-level grades and outperformed the requirements for their firm choice of university course can opt for an upgrade to another institution. Adjustment offers a five-day opportunity to swap the pre-arranged university course for another, without sacrificing the original place.


The system in the UK that helps students who have not been successful in obtaining a university place to do this just before courses start.

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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