Here are this year’s cringiest clearing videos

Because an animated seagull called Cliff makes you want to go to uni


Let’s get one thing straight before we start. There is nothing wrong with going through clearing to get a place at university. What is unforgivable is deciding to attend one of the academic institutions listed below after watching the video that they have produced and think will entice you to study there.

Maybe it’s all one big joke? Maybe take a gap year and resit some exams instead? Anyway, here are the cringiest clearing videos of 2016.

Kingston University

The advert begins with a high-tempo montage of some of the cultural highlights that Kingston has to offer such as the back of a bus and traffic passing by a sign to the uni. Accompanied by an upbeat musical bed that combines christmas jingles and some sick drum and bass.

The woodenness of the acting veers from a man who is showing the full effects of what studying an undergraduate course at Kingston does to you, and a woman who has looked down the camera lens, seen the vastness and emptiness of space and time but is doing her utmost to maintain an air of professionalism.

Patronising – 4/5. Inspiring – 1/5. Acting – 1/5. Number of scenic shots of Kingston – 0. Overall cringe rating – 3.5/5.

University of Sunderland

Let me introduce you to Cliff, a seagull who was really devastated about not getting into university. After a number of scenes depicting what could have gone wrong for Cliff, he decides to ring the University of Sunderland using his little orange beak to tap the number out on a mobile phone that is nearly as big as he is.

Big surprise, Cliff is accepted and the narrator becomes apoplectic with joy about the range of opportunities that Cliff now has in front of him, including living by the sea, because guess what, Cliff is a seagull remember!

Our tale ends on a rather sinister note, with Cliff turning towards the camera looking ready for murder. Turns out that he has been absolutely shafted by the friendly staff on the other end of the clearing helpline. Turns out a seagull can’t be a scientist, or a lawyer, or an accountant. Cliff can’t even comprehend how much £9,000 a year is. Cliff is the latest victim of this country’s education system. Cliff is pissed off.

Patronising – Off the scale. Animation – 3/5. Annoying voiceover artist – 4/5. Overall cringe rating – 5/5.

University of Westminster

7 seconds in, Biochemist Lydia appears in shot and utters the sacred words:

“I actually did better than I thought, so wanted to go to a university that was better than I applied to.”

Considering that Westminster is ranked 102 out of 127 UK universities, Lydia’s wayward arrogance may be a touch misplaced.

Patronising – 2/5. Inspiring – 3/5. Acting – 3/5. “London is so great” mentions – 2. Overall cringe rating – 4/5.

University of Cumbria

The plucky students who have been cajouled into appearing in this advert have one core message. Don’t panic. They talk about how stressed they were going through clearing but that you should just stay calm and that the world isn’t going to end. The end of the world can wait until you arrive for your first day at the University of Cumbria and realise that your nearest respite from sunny Carlisle is either Newcastle or the Lake District.

Patronising – 2/5. Inspiring – 2/5. Acting – 1/5. “Don’t stress” mentions – 6. Overall cringe rating – 4/5.

University of Gloucestershire

Ah, the ubiquitous appeal of using a pop cultural phenomenon to get some rather boring information across to your audience. This time it’s retro video games! Strangely it doesn’t actually provide any information about clearing, with the emphasis on making the University of Gloucestershire look cool and hip and trendy.

Uselessness – 5/5. Animation – 4/5. Retro video gaming is so cool! – 5/5. Overall cringe rating – 3/5.

UWE Bristol

Our intrepid narrator here is a biomedical science student called Hannah Reagan who sounds like she is being held at gunpoint as she recites the script taped to the wall in front of her: “It’s such…a…supportive environment, they can really help you with anything.” Nice and vague information  just before you shell out for a university that isn’t even in Bristol.

Patronising – 4/5. Inspiring – 1/5. Animation – 4/5. Voiceover artist – 1/5. Overall cringe rating – 3/5.

Wrexham Glyndwr University

Whoever made this advert is definitely a fan of those Microsoft ads doing the rounds on TV at the moment which rely on inspirational music and text flying around the screen to try and convince that they are just as good as Macs. They’re not. And in a similar vein, Wrexham Glyndwr is not like other unis, it’s ranked 3rd worst uni in the UK. Don’t forget though, they’re #1 in north Wales for getting their students jobs!

Patronising – 2/5. Inspiring – 3/5. Animation – 1/5. Effort put into making the video – 2/5. Overall cringe rating – 2/5.