Sharon Blaylock August 2019

Clearing 2020 goes virtual at University of Cumbria


Future students should look no further as the annual process of Clearing to secure a place at university this autumn begins next week.

University of Cumbria has a dedicated team on hand from 9am on Monday (6 July) to help anyone who is interested in starting university this year.

A handy new downloadable guide with everything you need to know about Clearing has also been produced, including details of Clearing Plus – a new system that can help match applicants who have not met the entry requirements of their chosen course with other universities.

Adapting to the challenge of operating Clearing support in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, professional services staff in admissions, student finance, accommodation, student services and the university’s course enquiry centre will be using new software to answer all calls to its Clearing hotline - 0808 178 7373 - and online at

Academic lecturers will also be part of the University of Cumbria team discussing the application process, entry requirements, course details and any other queries from those seeking information and support.

University of Cumbria’s Admissions Manager Sharon Blaylock has been involved in admissions at the institution for over 20 years.

She said: “Our admissions team is here and ready to talk, either right now or throughout Clearing. We are here to help anyone who may be asking themselves if university is right for them and if it is right at this particular time.

“They’ll want to know what we have to offer, what measures we’re putting in place for the new year, and what support we can offer in the months and years ahead.

“Whilst the pandemic has many re-considering their future plans and opportunities, we are still here ready to support our students and to let them know that if they stay focused and stick with us, they can go far.

“By having those conversations with us now, we can provide support at every step along the way and we will look forward to welcoming you in September.”

Plans for the university to safely resume operations at its campuses in Carlisle, Lancaster, Ambleside and London in readiness for the new academic year in September continue to be developed, with University of Cumbria complying with government requirements, the advice of Public Health England, and taking note of guidance from the Office for Students.

With the health and safety of its staff and students paramount, the university is currently assessing the requirements to provide a safe learning experience on campus and, where relevant, in the community.

The academic year in September 2020 will start as planned, for all new and continuing students, with the university adopting a blended learning approach, using a mixture of online learning and face-to-face sessions as appropriate and where it is safe to do so on campus.

Outreach officer Matthew Rayson, who is co-ordinating the university’s Clearing 2020 team, said: “We’ve been working hard behind the scenes in readiness for Clearing and anyone contacting us will not see any real difference.

“We’ve got a team of more than 60 colleagues who are working together to ensure that everyone who contacts us receives personalised support and we are able to assist them in making the choice that is right for them, allowing them to progress on the next step in their journey.”

In addition to the ongoing clearing support available from Monday 6 July, plans for A-level results day will include a safe and socially distanced fully-staffed call centre operating from the university’s Lancaster campus.

A second virtual open day will also take place on Saturday 15 August, following the success of the university’s first online open day recently that attracted hundreds of visitors.

Students who have not met the entry requirements for their chosen courses, or haven’t received an offer from a UK university, are automatically entered into Clearing. Late applicants and mature students can also apply through Clearing, as can those who do not want the place they may have originally been offered and choose to ‘self release’. Students who get better grades than predicted can also look to secure a university place through Clearing.

“It’s important to note that Clearing is not just about A-level results day and that we are here to help anyone who missed the UCAS deadline earlier in the year, or people who might be looking for a career change as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s not too late to apply to start a course with us this September,” added Matthew.

University of Cumbria offers undergraduate, postgraduate and industry-led programmes across its respected fields of health, education, the arts, business and industry including law and policing, and science. Many of its degree programmes include an option for students to do an integrated foundation year, which is suitable for those do not meet the entry requirements or did not take the right qualifications for the career they want.

The university’s quality education has been recognised on a world stage this year. According to the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, the only global performance tables that assess universities’ impact against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), University of Cumbria is ranked eighth out of a total of 676 participating institutions worldwide and first in the UK for Quality Education SDG, which measures universities’ contribution to early years and lifelong learning, their pedagogy, research and their commitment to inclusive education.

  • Do you want more information and advice about university applications through Clearing? Call the University of Cumbria Clearing hotline 0808 178 7373 or visit online. The hotline and downloadable guide will be live and available from 9am on Monday 6 July.



1. Sharon Blaylock/Matthew Rayson are available for interview. Contact a member of the university communications team.

2. Picture: Clearing 2020 at University of Cumbria: Sharon Blaylock, admissions manager

3. Picture - Clearing 2020 at University of Cumbria: Matthew Rayson, outreach officer

3. A pdf of the University of Cumbria's new Clearing guide is available - CLEARING HOW TO GUIDE.pdf