Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/08/18/ucas_website_failure/

UCAS website collapses - on results day

Who could have predicted such massive traffic? Er ...

By John Oates

Posted in Government, 18th August 2011 09:31 GMT

'A' level students looking to find a university place through the UCAS website had better get on the phone instead - the organisation has shut down its own website.

Despite widespread predictions that this year would be a particularly busy clearing process, UCAS (Universities & Colleges Admissions Service) has been caught on the hop.

A spokesman told us:

Traffic to the UCAS Track site is four times the peak per second compared to last year. In order to secure a full service we have taken the site down for a short time.

Full service will be resumed shortly and we apologise for any inconvenience. All other UCAS websites, including the Clearing vacancy service search function are still available.

Importantly for applicants, the ability to choose a Clearing place will not be impacted, and this function will open late afternoon as planned.

Michael Allen, director of application performance management solutions, at Compuware said:

“In this day and age, there’s no reason why increased traffic should cause a website to crash. For it to happen to UCAS on results day is inexcusable and has added more stress to what is already a tough day for prospective University students. Every year, we know students will be rushing to the website on A-Level results day and UCAS should be in a great position in that it knows exactly how many students have applied for University and should therefore be in a good position to predict website traffic."

Allen suggested testing the website in advance to check it could deal with predicted numbers.

Anyone wishing to place a bet on UCAS getting its site back online, and keeping it there, this afternoon please leave a comment below.

In the meantime can we recommend 'SexyALevels' - a photo blog which records the annual media mystery that means only attractive girls are ever pictured getting their results. ®