Universities have thousands of empty places.
Over 4,000 courses still have vacancies at 15 out of the 24 elite Russell Group universities, ahead of A-level results day this Thursday.
Admissions tutors for sought-after courses such as Law and English Literature that typically require A* and A grades at A-level are poised to drastically lower their entry requirements in a bid to entice as many students as possible.
A dip in applications has left even top ranking institutions scrabbling to fill places, as this year a significant drop in the number of EU students combined with a decline in the youth population has led to applications to British universities falling by four per cent.
Durham, York and Glasgow universities were among the top universities left with empty places ahead of A-level results day. Leeds University still had spaces on 530 of its courses, while Queen Mary University advertised vacancies on 459 courses on Sunday.
Some of the most competitive courses still had places, including Physics at Bristol University, which requires A*AA, or Law at Manchester University which requires AAA.
Christina Edgar, head of admissions at the University of Sheffield, said that clearing used to be seen as a shameful process for students who failed to achieve the grades they needed for their first choice university.