By Xin Fan

MANY pupils opening envelopes containing A-level results on Thursday morning will like what they see - but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t.

Course vacancy lists will be published on the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) website and in the Daily Telegraph.

Pupils without a university place will see a Clearing button appear on their UCAS Track page, through which they will receive an electronic clearing number.

This number needs to be given to universities when calling the Clearing phone lines.

Pupils should always make Clearing calls themselves and have their results to hand.

They should also make sure their contact details are up to date on UCAS and be available throughout the results period to answer any questions about their motivations, interests, and qualifications.

Alison Cooper, admissions manager at Bucks New University , heads the higher education institution’s Clearing operation on Thursday.

She said: "If you have achieved less points than you were expecting don’t panic - you may still have been accepted at your first or insurance choice.

“Call both anyway, as they may still have given you a place. If not, UCAS will automatically notify you of your Clearing number. You should be able to find another suitable course through Clearing.”

Alison advised pupils to begin preparing now if they think they may not have done as well as they had hoped for.

"It's never too early to consider alternative courses and institutions. Speak to your teachers, career advisers; research any new subject areas that you may be interested in", she said.

Some universities, such as Kent, have already published course lists ahead of results.

Leading universities such as Birmingham and Exeter will be ‘bidding’ for left-behind pupils who achieve AAB grades or better under new government rules which allow for their unlimited recruitment.

Bucks opens its own Clearing hotline from 8am-8pm on 16 August, offering places on a range of courses and packages paying for students’ living costs.

The hotline number is 0800 0565 660 and is also open 8am-7pm on Friday 17 and 9am to 3pm on Saturday 18. You can email enquiries through to or visit