Russell Group unis are reserving clearing places for rich international students

They can pay higher fees

Leading unis have set aside sought-after clearing places exclusively for loaded foreign students. 

The exclusive clearing places are set aside for internationals who can afford to pay much more than the standard UK fees, and can boost their earnings by paying up to £20,000 a year.

The news comes the same week A Level results are released — with over 150,000 applicants expected to go through clearing this Thursday.

New research by the Daily Mail claims Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow are among the Russell Group universities who will offer some clearing places to exclusively international students this year.

Birmingham is reserving 100 clearing places for international students outside of the EU, with a further 150 reserved for those in the UK and EU.

Graduates at Birmingham this year

Edinburgh told the Daily Mail it only had vacancies on two courses “for a very small number” of UK or EU students.

But they added the uni “may have a small number of places available to well-qualified non-EU international students” on a massive 453 courses.

Glasgow expects to have around 50 clearing places, but there will only be space for UK and EU students on ten courses, compared with 515 open to non-EU students.

Meanwhile a spokesperson at Cardiff said “Some UK and EU numbers for particular courses are limited by quotes which Cardiff University cannot exceed”.

But they said the uni may provide clearing places for foreign students — they just couldn’t say how many.

It’s the same story at Sheffield, where exclusive international student clearing places may be available, although the uni said they didn’t know how many there would be yet.

Liverpool and Southampton have clearing places open to both home and international students, but Liverpool does have an “international vacancy service” which lists courses still open to international students.

And Southampton is currently seeking Chinese students to fill its clearing spaces, with three different exhibitions in Hong Kong advertising the uni this summer.

Southampton is just one of the top unis courting international students

Alan Smithers, an education expert at the University of Buckingham, told the Daily Mail: “Fundamentally, universities are businesses and they have to balance the books.

“For non-EU students, universities are able to set their own fees and they can set them to cover the entire cost, perhaps with a bit of a profit margin. That money is important.”

A number of other universities are actively recruiting international students on their clearing website and on UCAS, where separate facilities are available for international students to look for courses.

Clearing is already open to IB and Scottish students, who already have their results.

It will open on Thursday for A Level students, who can browse clearing places from 6pm this Wednesday.