Action by lecturers on Monday and Tuesday at the eight older universities is unlikely to affect pupils applying to higher education, university authorities say.
Members of the Association of University Teachers are campaigning for higher pay and have pledged not to handle enquiries from pupils for two days. Universities stress that most calls are dealt with by administrative staff.
An exam helpline, run by careers services, is again being set up to help pupils with late applications to university. The Freephone number is 0800 101 901.