Just four days before A-Level results day, King’s College London announced that Clearing spaces will no longer be available, despite having offered them in previous years. By responding to a comment under an Instagram post, the university explained their position by saying ‘we’ve been able to fill the required spaces on all our undergraduate courses for 2021 entry. Therefore, we will not be entering Clearing and Adjustment this year’.

Due to the complications brought by the pandemic, students across the UK have already experienced a terrible time in and out of school, being denied their opportunity to improve their grades via exams, and instead having to settle for predicted results. This is not to even mention how for the past 18 months their education was reduced to a screen on a table with minimal student social interaction.

Now their education is being damaged again, being denied at the last minute the opportunity to study at higher education institutes of their choice. KCL is not the only Russell Group university to have denied students Clearing opportunities this year, both the University of Edinburgh and University of Leeds have also announced, via their websites, that Clearing will not be offered.

Universities should be bending over backwards to help young people get educated and repair the damage of the last 18 months. The fact that some universities are not accepting any students through Clearing is shocking and disgraceful.

The wealth exists in society to give everyone access to the highest quality education if they want it. But this wealth is in private hands and is not invested where society needs it most. Instead, educational institutions actually face cuts and are increasingly run as businesses, instead of as a public service. This is the root cause of the shameful failure to accept students through Clearing this year, despite the need for places.

KCL management has a track record of not listening to students’ needs. Last year the pandemic exposed the callousness and incompetence of the university bureaucracy. Students protested and demanded better. Evelyn Welch, the now ex-president of KCL, told those students that they should be more grateful. “You’re not getting nothing. You’re still getting a degree”, she said.

Now, many students won’t even be getting a degree thanks to the lack of Clearing places available this year. Needless to say, instead of working and campaigning for more university places, more public investment, and free education accessible to all, KCL management will just brush off the needs of students once again.

The KCL Marxist society stands for education that is free and accessible to all who want it. This shameful situation will strengthen our commitment to build the Marxist society this year into an educational and campaigning force, linking up with students across the country, and carrying on the struggle on and off campus for a society that works in the interests of need, not profit. If you want to help us in this fight, get in touch today.

Kings College London Marxist Society

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