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Real Life Experiences of Clearing

See Clearing as an opportunity rather than a failure!

Here's a selection of success stories about students who found their course and university through Clearing. Read what students themselves say about the Clearing experience:

Megan Clifford Picture

"I originally applied for medicine and it wasn't until results day that I considered Clearing as an option.

  • "I had received my results, grades which would allow me to enter onto a Paramedic Science course. On results day I sat down with a telephone, my results and UCAS details in hand and began to call universities, asking about places for my chosen course. I rang three universities and secured interviews at two. I chose the University of East Anglia (UEA) after the interviews as I really liked the feel of the campus – UEA felt very welcoming and friendly, as well as a lovely place to be with its lake and leafy green campus. Within a couple of days of attending my interviews, I accepted a place at UEA and began to prepare for the big move to Norwich." Megan Clifford, Paramedic Sciences, UEA.

Ben impacted positively on his university by becoming President of the Student's Union.

  • “I attended an open day in August, a few days after receiving my A-Level results. I’m from Hackney in London and wanted to move away to experience something different. At UCS you’re not just a number and everyone has a role to play whether it is staff or students. When I graduated I was lucky enough to be elected UCS Students’ Union President, a position I have held for two years. I’m now an Advisor for the Quality Assurance Agency.” Ben Adofo: BA (Hons) Business Management, University Campus Suffolk. 

Renisha Robin discovered her academic calling several months after the UCAS deadline had passed.

  • That meant the 20 year old, now completing a BSc in Civil Engineering at London’s Kingston University, was grateful for the opportunity Clearing provided to reconsider her options. She was the first person in her family to go to university and although her decision to pursue engineering at degree level came late in the day, she has thrived since joining the course and is very proud to be a woman in engineering, which is often perceived as a male-dominated career.
Georgina Green Graduation Pic
Georgina Green

“I had to go through Clearing because I didn’t get the grades. Now I have a First Class degree”

  • Georgina Green (22) has just completed a four-year Masters programme in Mechanical Engineering at theUniversity of Greenwich, and the future looks bright. But on Results Day she faced melt-down when her predicted 3 As didn’t materialise: “I got BCC. I went home and phoned my back-up choice: they said no. Then I remembered Greenwich, the very first university I had visited.”

Natalie switched university and is now sharing research findings at a European Conference.

  • “I began studying at another university but instantly knew it wasn’t for me. Whilst searching for alternative options the BSc (Hons) Bioscience degree at UCS really stuck out for me. The process of transferring to UCS was easy and the admissions team were so helpful and friendly. I’m now working for Benchmark Vaccines Limited, as a Quality Assurance Officer. I am also preparing to share research findings, undertaken as part of my dissertation, at the European Orthopaedic Society annual conference.” Natalie Byles, Bioscience, University Campus Suffolk.

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Adam Ghidaoui

“They told me I’d never pass my 11-plus. Now I have a first class Masters degree."

  • Adam Ghidaoui (24) works in the family’s engineering company, making trading desks for investment banks. He wanted a degree but didn't do as well at A Level as he hoped, getting three Cs. “I took a year out. Then I thought, ‘You know what? I want to go to university’, and applied through Clearing. I got four offers and chose the University of Greenwich.” Adam graduated in MEng Hons last year.

A last minute decision and application through Clearing brings Emma success.

  • Emma gained a place at London South Bank University through Clearing, when she made a last minute decision to go to university to study for a BA (Hons) in Theatre Practice and Creative Producing, to learn the skills needed to run her own theatre. Emma graduated in 2012 and has just successfully launched her own natural cosmetics business Agese Oils, with the help of LSBU’s Enterprise Associate Scheme. Emma, Theatre Practice and Creative Producing, London South Bank University

Kate realised that her passion lay in Film, and was able to amend her course through Clearing. 

  • “I had enrolled at another university to study Event Management but realised I wanted to pursue a career in Film instead. UCS handled everything smoothly and within a week I was enrolled with them. It was not only close to home, but the course specification for Film was really exciting, combining practical and theory. Since graduating I have worked on Guy Ritchie’s Man From U.N.C.L.E, Edge of Tomorrow, Far From the Madding Crowd and Pan as Assistant VFX Editor.” Kate McCoid: BA (Hons) Digital Film Production, University Campus Suffolk.

Jack James Marlow’s last minute  to go to university turned out to be one of the best decisions of his life. 

  • Not only did he achieve a distinction for his engineering foundation year and continue to study a degree in aerospace engineering, astronautics and space technology but he has also achieved a lifelong ambition to learn how to skydive through the university’s skydiving society! He now is now finishing his PhD as well as being a part-time lecturer at Kingston University.

"I rang Sheffield Hallam and they answered all my questions. They held my place for me for as long as they possibly could, and were really helpful.

  • "I was invited to a Clearing Open Day where I spoke to students and lecturers. I toured my campus and felt at home before I'd even started. Don’t get disheartened and don’t give up – clearing can be stressful but it can lead to really good outcomes." Caitlin, Sheffield Hallam University.

"Getting a place to study History with Film studies at Essex through Clearing turned out to be the best accidental decision I’ve made.

  • "Even though I’m not studying Drama like I intended to, I’ve still been able to act by joining the theatre arts society and performed in a play that was part of the 2012 London International Theatre Festival." Deborah, 3rd year BA History and Film Studies, University of Essex

A change in course and a place at the university Connor really wanted to attend.

  • Connor, a second year Law student came to the University of East Anglia through the clearing process. As Connor prepares to spend his third year abroad in Belgium, he is confident that clearing offered him the chance to be on the right course. Connor says: "Although it was disappointing not to get the results I hoped for, I had already decided I might be better studying Law and, by applying through Clearing on results day, I secured a place at UEA where I had really wanted to study." Connor, Law, University of Essex
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"I was offered a university place but when I looked at the course structure I discovered that it didn’t cover the subjects I loved. Clearing gave me the chance to find exactly the right course.

  • "I spoke to people working in medical research and they recommended Greenwich. The School of Science is well respected by professionals and the facilities on the Medway campus are high quality. A lot of money has been invested in recent years. I’ve been here for two years now and I fully recommend the University of Greenwich. The teaching is excellent. In general there is a great atmosphere on campus.
  • "My Clearing advice to others would be not to be stressed out by the whole scenario. Make sure you have read the detail of the course at each university. Look at the structure to check that it covers the subjects you want to study. Clearing is a second chance to get it right. Don’t be afraid that you are settling for something less. For me it was an opportunity to get the best."  Billy, studying BSc Hons Biological Sciences, University of Greenwich

"Clearing was something I had never heard about or considered as I had always thought I would get one of my choices, but sadly I didn’t get the grades for either my firm or insurance choice.

  • "I was devastated and thought that meant my pursuit of university was over – but a friend of mine, who had applied to Middlesex for a different course, convinced me to apply to Middlesex through Clearing.  When I rang up Middlesex on Results Day I was surprised to find out that there were still places for BA Honours Journalism and Communication Studies with Spanish, a combination I hadn’t come across after having initially applied for a single Honours degree in Journalism at two different universities. However the combination of the subjects meant I could study Journalism as I had initially planned but also continue studying Spanish as I loved the language and had studied it at school and college. Fortunately I did have the grades for the course so I was granted a place on the day, with my letter of confirmation arriving in the post the next day, which meant I was able to go to University after all.
  • "Looking back, to say I was disappointed was an understatement, but I believe everything happens for a reason and because of my decision to study at Middlesex I had so much more opportunities. Besides broadening my knowledge of Spanish even further, I participated in the study abroad (Erasmus) programme in which I spent five months studying at the University of Córdoba in Spain for a semester. It was one of the best experiences as not only did I immerse myself into a different culture, by living with Spanish students and joining the University volleyball team, but I also gained a lot of confidence in my speaking ability and I am now able to communicate confidently in Spanish
  • "I would advise anyone going through Clearing to not think of it as a failure; failure would be failing to get the grades and giving up at the first hurdle – Clearing gives you a second chance." Danielle Ferguson, BA Honours Journalism and Communication Studies with Spanish, Middlesex University
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"I’d been at university for a year but the course was wrong for me. I thought and thought about it over the summer and finally decided to start again.

  • "I had heard good reviews of the Public Relations degree and it was recognised by the professional body CIPR so I applied through Clearing. My advice for people applying through Clearing this year is make sure you’ve put all your questions down before you phone up. Be really clear what you want, and try to get as much done there and then as you can. Be willing to hold on to talk to a tutor, or wait for information, rather than be told 'We’ll call you back', because that just drags things out. There is a lot to organise so it pays to be as assertive as possible. Basically – seize the moment." Jasmine, studying BA Public Relations, University of Greenwich

"Before Clearing, I wasn’t aware that the University of Essex even existed, but now that I’m here, I’m loving it!

  • "The quality of study is high, with loads of support from staff. There are loads of societies and clubs to get involved with. There are also lots of opportunities to work whilst studying, like the Frontrunner placements. In other words, Essex is great – a great place to live, study and have fun." Oyinsola, 2nd year BEng Telecomm Engineering, University of Essex

Changed course offer after just missing grades for first choice course.

  • "With my heart set solely on Aston University, I initially felt a real blow to discover that I had just missed the ABB A-level grades to make it onto my first choice Business and Management course. I picked Aston for its great overall reputation and city campus, so was willing to look at the other options available to me through being offered an alternative course in Business. I was contacted by the Joint Honours team who informed me that I could combine a Business course with a large range of other topics. Like all other Business School students, I would still be able to complete a placement and choose a specific Business stream in my final year. After making my subject choices and speaking to Joint Honours, I was offered a place on their BSc Business and Sociology programme.
  • "Despite not being my initial first choice course, my experience has been fantastic. Being a Joint Honours student offers you a great opportunity to keep your studies varied and lets you make friends from different academic schools.
  • "Not only have the teachings from both sides benefited my experience in both subjects, I spent my placement year working in Marketing for Disney in London and now have a Graduate Job with Warner Brothers." Chris, graduate, Aston University graduate.
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