Seeing Clearly: A Gen Z Point of view on Clearing

HE Thinking | 05 Mar 2019


What's the Gen Z perspective on Clearing? And how can universities ensure they're prepared? The recent Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and Squiz event on 'boosting student acquisition' saw our HE Associate Director, Andreanne, take to the stage to share her take on both these questions. If you missed it, here are three key takeaways from our talk...

1. There’s no such thing as a typical Clearing student

Record numbers of students applying through Clearing are proof that it’s now a mainstream route into Higher Education. And it’s not just about low tariff institutions anymore; Russell Group universities increasingly need to compete to fill places too. Both attitudes and behaviour are changing, and fast.

So, the big question is, who are you targeting during Clearing? Drawing from data in our Marcomms Success tracker, we’ve explored the reasons why students go through Clearing, and have identified four distinct groups:
Info Student clearing blog (6)

2. It ain't what you do, it's the way you do it

Picture1With such a broad range of students applying through Clearing, together with the speed of the Clearing experience (55% of students get in touch within two hours), it’s no wonder their decision-making drivers differ from non-Clearers... which is why we should be questioning, 'do we know these students and does our Clearing strategy meet their needs?' 

Outside of course and employability, Clearers rank their 'Dealings with you' as the third most important factor; equally as important as 'Facilities'.  Having a  ‘Helpful administration’ is cited as being far more important for Clearers compared to for non-Clearers (out of 47 factors it comes 10th for clearers, 19th for non-clearers). It’s not just what you communicate that matters, but also how.


3. Preparation, preparation, preparation

As every Higher Education provider knows, Clearing is one of the busiest and most stressful periods in the academic cycle. But how you act and communicate during the process makes all the difference.

Here’s how you can prepare…

Clearing studentNail your open days. Ranked as the most influential source by Clearers when picking their firm choice, getting as many considerers to your events and giving them the right experience is crucial to conversion. 

Make sure information is accessible, and relevant. Applicants lean heavily on both your website and your admissions department as information sources during the process.  Fifty percent of Clearers felt they lacked essential information – including emotional support – during the Clearing process.

Get the right staff on-board, and make sure they’re equipped with the right tools to help. Clearing can be a scary and stressful time for students whose future plans are suddenly thrown off course; a friendly, relatable and empathetic voice on the end of the phone might just seal the deal.  

What Next? Get ahead with Marcomms Success

This article provides just a brief look into how you can crack the Clearing process. With our Marcomms Success 2018/19 tracker (part of our HE Success Suite) you can gain up to the minute, high-quality evidence on the core issues affecting university marketing departments so that you can truly succeed in your Clearing strategy.  

Our insight will help ensure that you're reaching the right people with the right message during the all-important Clearing stage. Your subscription will give you one year of access to Marcomms Success hosted in an easy-to-manage dashboard, as well as membership to our HE Insight Club.

Or if you have a specific business question that needs answering, get in touch to find out more about our ad hoc research.

Chat to our HE specialists

About Squiz

 Squiz provide customers with the platform, tools and confidence needed to thrive in a digital world. 

Their approach is to enhance their clients' business capabilities through a powerful combination of technologies that create seamless, intelligent and engaging customer experiences. Beyond, this they also offer a range of supporting services designed to achieve successful growth. Read more at


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