Medical school offering places through clearing inundated with 1,825 calls

A university that offered up places on its medicine degree through clearing for the first time was inundated with over 1,800 calls from hopeful applicants within hours of A level results being released.

St George’s Medical School at the University of London received 1,825 calls by 11am on results day from students looking to gain a last-minute place on its 2016 medicine degree.

The school announced it would open up places onto its medicine course through clearing for this first time ever last month.

Competition for places will be fierce, with the 'very high volume of calls' equating to around 46 enquiries per place it has available. Interviews are set to take place on Friday and over the weekend.

Around 40 places are on offer through the process, which is typically used by universities to fill up leftover places.

But despite fears that this was a consequence of the flagging interest in studying medicine – 14% less UK students applied last year – a spokeswoman for the school told GPonline that it had actually managed to buck this recent trend.

She said the school had instead taken a conscious decision to give students a fairer chance of entering medicine training given the ‘unpredictability of A level grades’.

Medicine clearing

'In fact, we received more applications this year than last year and the quality was consistent with last year,' she added. 'Our decision to go into clearing was taken because of the unpredictability of A level grades, coupled with the strict quotas we have for the course.'

The move will pave the way for a selection of high-performing students to secure a place studying medicine this year if they managed to exceed their expected results or just miss out on conditional requirements for their offer elsewhere.

St George’s said its entry requirements for those entering through clearing would stick to the same high standard as it was for those who applied during the usual period.

In addition to the medicine courses, the school received 1,478 calls for its other undergraduate courses including biomedical science, paramedic science and healthcare science.

Eoin Lally, head of student recruitment at St George’s, said: ‘We’ve had the same number of calls by 10:30am today that we had over two to three days in 2015. We’re getting high quality students phoning and we’re filling up our interview schedule for the coming days.’

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