WHEN thousands of A-level students open their results tomorrow, many will be delighted to find that they’ve clinched the grades they needed to get into the course and university of their dreams.
But some will not get the results they expected and find themselves having to deal with the process of clearing.
For many young students, this is a daunting prospect, but they are not alone. Last year over 38,000 students found university places through clearing, many of them finding that the course they ended up on was just as, if not better, suited to them than the subject they had originally hoped to pursue.
As head of the University of Huddersfield’s schools and colleges liaison service, Julie Pink knows exactly what they are going through.
She said: “It is upsetting for students when they don’t get the grades they were hoping for and clearing can be a daunting prospect. But they need to remember that they are not alone and that there’s a lot of people ready to help them through the process.”
A team of staff from the university, including specially-selected students who experienced the admissions process themselves, will be poised to answer calls from students as soon as they get their results.
They are trained to talk students calmly through the process and what options they have available to them before passing them through to an admissions tutor. It’s essential for students to get on the phone as soon as possible to find out their options.
Julie added: “Of course some students will need to have a cry first, but then they need to take a deep breath and start getting on the phone.
“It’s crucial that they act quickly, the clearing process is now a lot quicker than it used to be and places get snapped up.
“But there’s no need for them to panic. We know exactly what they are going through and we are there to help them.”
The first thing students need to do if they get grades lower than they expected is to get onto the UCAS website and access their own personal information, as it is possible that they still have their chosen place. If not, then the website contains everything they need to find out about available courses through clearing and the contact details for all the universities.
They need to think carefully about the subject they want to pursue and then contact the university direct, or arrange to attend a clearing open day if they are unsure what to study or haven’t yet visited the campus.
For the first time this year, Huddersfield University is holding a clearing open day. Here, as well as finding out more about the university and courses available to them, prospective students have the chance to be interviewed and, if they have made their mind up, sign up for a degree on the day.
“It’s not the end of the world if students don’t get their grades as there will still be a good range of courses available to them.”
Huddersfield University’s clearing open day is on August 16, from 10am to 3pm. The university’s clearing helpline, on 01484 472777, is open from 9am-7pm on results day.