STUDENTS swamped clearing lines in a desperate bid to secure the last remaining university places.
A-level students jammed switchboards at Midland universities in a bid to get a place through clearing, which matches students with course places that are still available.
Just 29,409 courses were available nationwide when the clearing process opened on Thursday morning, with students racing to claim the last places before tuition fees rocket to up to £9,000-a year from 2012.
A 20-strong team of staff at Birmingham City University manned a special clearing hotline from 8am, and the university revealed it had received more than 1,500 calls in the first four hours, despite just 200 clearing places being available.
A university spokesman said: “It’s been manic, very busy indeed.
“Last year we had 4,000 calls for 300 places and we have even fewer places this year. The places we have left are in subject areas like technology, engineering computing and architecture.”
Aston University also reported a rush of calls for just 100 available spaces.
“We have 20-plus people on the phone and even then people were struggling to get through,” said a university spokesman.
“We expect the places to be filled by the end of this week, and are making sure we match the right students to the right course.”
For more information, visit www2.bcu.ac.uk/clearing and www.aston.ac.uk/clearin