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Clearing opens early

Universities are filling their vacancies earlier than ever before, writes Alison Goddard.

Students are already being recruited through the clearing process in which unplaced applicants are matched with unfilled places. In previous years, clearing has begun during the week in which the A-level results are published (or, in Scotland, when the results of the Scottish Highers are published). The caps on student numbers in England have now been lifted and, this year, clearing has started immediately after the results of the International Baccalaureate were published yesterday. The Daily Telegraph reports that 14 members of the Russell Group of highly selective institutions have advertised 2,500 places as being available to the 5,000 school-leavers who took the International Baccalaureate. We have a report on how students with vocational qualifications are not being given the additional support they need to succeed at university.

Ahead of the second budget of the year, which is due to be delivered tomorrow, the Financial Times reports that Sajid Javid, the business secretary, will seek to protect spending on science and research by converting maintenance grants for the poorest students into loans, which has been widely trailed elsewhere.

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