Tuesday, 17 August 2010

UCAS Clearing: Some Advice

Given the reports of an ever increasing shortage of undergraduate places this year, it is timely that I revisit the article 'Getting a computing course in clearing: Some advice' that I wrote for ComputerWorld UK last year. The key points of advice for students who find themselves in clearing were:
  1. Don't panic - decide in haste, repent at leisure. Keep in mind the reasons why you chose your original course.
  2. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Before the A-level grades come out, it's useful to have a list of target courses based on your previous research.
  3. First thing on getting the grades to do then is to finalise your list of target courses in clearing. The UCAS website and the Independent have official listings.
  4. Then start phoning universities. Clear thinking, with a systematic approach, will maximise your chances of success. Be polite and have your results ready as university switchboards will be busy.
Note that the UCAS Track website will not display decisions until the morning of the 19th August (usual practice), and this year not allow students to formally request clearing choices until the early evening (this is to give students time to make a considered choice, I presume). See the UCAS website for details of the process; I would read this before the results come out.

The article also has useful advice for parents:
"What can parents do? They can provide moral support and guidance in what may be a fraught few days. They can help find information on courses. What parents should avoid is phoning on behalf of applicants or acting as agents: admissions tutors will want to access the student, as it is the student who has to win the place on their merits."
I've worked in the admissions tutor role for a number of years so I know how much the A-level grades mean to people who wish to secure a place on the university course of their choice. All I'd like to say is good luck and I hope all goes well!

PS. All queries regarding courses at City University should be addressed to them directly, and not the comments of this blog (since this is my personal blog, as per comments policy and I'll be too busy to read them).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Really great advice on UCAS clearing. The key point of advice for students who find themselves in clearing difficult. Great post!