A-level students searching for university places were left frustrated yesterday after a power failure at the UK's clearing house brought down its computer and telephone systems for more than six hours.
A general power failure hit the Cheltenham area at 7.30am, bringing down essential systems at the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (Ucas).
Reports suggest that workmen may have inadvertently caused the outage by cutting through a power line.
The Ucas telephone system and website were inoperable until just before 2pm.
With A-level results being published last week, students rely on Ucas to provide them with up-to-date information on university places.
Ucas chief executive Tony Higgins said that all efforts had been made to minimise disruption to the service. "We ask that applicants bear with us if they have any trouble getting through," he said.
Ucas' Business Continuity Plan was designed to deal with such emergencies, but provisions to move to an off-site facility were not enacted as power was restored quickly, a spokeswoman said.
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