With A-level results day here, many young people hoping to start at university this September may be daunted by the prospect of finding a place through Clearing. But they need not be - Clearing doesn’t have to be stressful. We spoke to London South Bank University students to find out how they felt about the process.
When Evie found herself in Clearing in 2013, she didn’t realise it would set her on a path to discover a passion for mental health nursing at LSBU.
The 22-year-old from Thurrock said, while she was a little disappointed that she would miss out on studying psychology, she sat down with her results and considered her options with an optimistic attitude.
"When I was at school I was interested in mental health and was thinking about something in that area, maybe psychiatry and psychology, but I didn’t get the grades for psychology so I thought, ‘Okay, what can I do?’ I waited a day or two to consider my options and tried to find the best way to go about it. I heard about Clearing and said, ‘I’ll give that a go'.
“I found London South Bank University and saw they had places open for mental health nursing and I thought perhaps mental health nursing would be better for me.
“I remember applying through Clearing being a very quick process and now I think I made the right choice. Clearing is a good option, because sometimes plans don’t go as you want them to, but you might find that you come out thinking, ‘Actually, the way that happened was the right thing for me’.
“There are so many options available, if you don’t get the grades or you don’t get your first preference university, there are other places, and you might end up somewhere you really like. You have to think of it as an opportunity."
Samuel from Bromley, Kent, finished a job in recruitment after leaving sixth form college in 2014 and decided to do a degree in Business and Technology. He initially applied to do an HND at LSBU but the University contacted him to offer him the opportunity to study for a higher Bachelor’s degree instead, which he says was a pleasant surprise.
I’m really glad that I got a call back and I was given the option to reconsider my choice in Clearing - as I have left university with more than I ever expected!
- Samuel Ash
Samuel has just graduated from LSBU with a first class degree in Business Information Technology and is currently working with the Research, Enterprise and Innovation team on events management.
Samuel chose LSBU because he saw more flexible opportunities here than elsewhere to study for his engineering degree.
“My experience of Clearing at LSBU was very good as I felt the University was making an effort to give me the best opportunity. Initially I applied to do an HND in Business Information Technology as I thought I wouldn’t be able to manage a full-time degree and I thought that would be that - provided I met the entry criteria. However, I got a call back later that day from the Clearing team asking if I would consider doing a full-time degree, as they thought with my current grades I would have been able to manage a BSc.
“I have just graduated from LSBU with a 1st class honours in Business Information Technology, so looking back I’m really glad that I got a call back and I was given the option to reconsider my choice in Clearing - as I have left university with more than I ever expected!”
Chris found Clearing to be a ‘positive’ experience and much easier and preferable to going through the actual process of applying for a place through UCAS which he found bureaucratic and lengthy.
Chris graduated from LSBU in 2012 and now runs his own company, Code and Wander, developing apps and IT, based at the business hub in LSBU's Clarence Centre on London Road.
“I found my experience of going through Clearing far less stressful than the standard UCAS procedure. The Clearing Open Days were a lot more informative on a personal level, I was able to meet my potential lecturers as well as having 1-2-1 phone calls with the course director.
"It felt like LSBU genuinely cared about what I was looking for in a course. Now LSBU is supporting my business as a graduate entrepreneur, I couldn’t have made a wiser decision."