St George's medical school, at the University of London, said it was ‘enormously keen’ to run the programme again following its success last year, the first time medical school places were offered through clearing in the UK.
Around 50 places on its five-year medicine course, commencing this year, will be available through clearing, but competition for the last-minute spots is set to be fierce.
GPonline reported that the clearing hotline was inundated with 1,800 calls just hours after A level results were released last year. Over 8,000 enquiries were eventually made in total.
This year, St George's has increased its call handling team two-fold to help meet the anticipated demand on results day – this Thursday – from hopeful candidates.
Clearing is usually used by universities to fill up any leftover places, but St George's said that it had purposefully set aside the clearing places to account for the ‘unpredictability of A level grades’, rather than them being available as a consequence of inadequate interest in its medicine course.
The move will offer a lifeline to students ‘who otherwise would have missed out’ and allow more top achievers a chance to study medicine without having to ‘delay their ambitions for another year’, it said.
All students are expected to get at least grade A in all subjects and will be ‘interviewed and scrutinised in the same way’ as students who apply before results day.
Ameera Cajucom, a student who won a place through the scheme last year, said: ‘I think that going through clearing for St George's was life changing, practically a miracle. I didn't realise how much it was the university for me, the life and the culture is perfect.’
Professor Jenny Higham, principal of St George’s, said: ‘Following clearing and adjustment last year, many outstanding students, who could not gain a place elsewhere, are now on the road to fulfilling their dreams of becoming a doctor or pursuing another specialism.
‘We are enormously keen to open our doors to students with the same drive and ambition this year.’
The school will also offer clearing places on a number of other courses, including biomedical science, physiotherapy and paramedic science.