Who’s deferring?

One of the great narratives of the "most brutal clearing ever" in 2020 was the rise in deferrals. I thought I'd have a look and see what is happening.

David Kernohan is Deputy Editor of Wonkhe

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Fans of Wonkhe’s other clearing coverage will be unsurprised to learn that the answer is “not much”. Overall, clearing is up very slightly on previous years, continuing an eight year trend without truly standing out as anything special.

But there is one interesting growth, and this is perhaps best demonstrated if we look at proportions rather than absolutes.

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International (non-EU) deferrals are up sharply, nearly double what they would be at this stage in any other year. As we’ve noted elsewhere, we don’t know how many international students that haven’t deferred will turn up in 2020 – and two week quarantines mean that providers will know the answer to this sooner rather than latter.

A student can’t just unilaterally defer, so we can assume that providers are working hard to convince applicants that campus will be a good place to be this year and that the numbers of international students asking about deferral may be even higher.

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