Posted Thursday 15 August 2013
Kingston University's Clearing headquarters has been deluged with inquiries from prospective students eager to snatch one of the few remaining places on degree courses starting this September. The hotline operation - manned by specially-trained staff and students - went live at 8.30 this morning and by 12.00pm there had already been more than 8,000 attempts to call the University's Clearing, confirmation and adjustment hotline.
The University's hotline operators have been busy taking calls from students who have narrowly missed out on their predicted A-level grades as well as others who have actually done better than expected and want to try and secure a place on one of Kingston's popular degree courses.
Deputy Director of Student Administration Dr Andy Homer, who is overseeing activity at hotline headquarters, said he expected thousands more calls during the course of the day. "The first few hours on results day are always the busiest for us as students rush to their schools and further education colleges to pick up results," he said. "We're aware that last year some very good students were left disappointed when they couldn't get through on the phones so we have significantly increased our capacity to respond this year with 240 people on the other end of the phone to make offers and give advice."
Callers to the hotline would have an initial conversation with an operator and provide details of their A-level results, Dr Homer explained. If their grades met course requirements the prospective student would then be put in touch with an academic to see whether they could be matched with an unfilled place. "Our hotline operators will continue taking calls from degree hopefuls until all our vacancies are filled, but there will be high demand so students will need to be quick off the mark to have a chance of getting a place on the degree they're most interested in," he added.
Dr Homer advised students coming through Clearing to research courses before they made their calls. "It's vital to know the differences between similar subject areas and to be ready with reasons why they want to go to a particular university," he said.
Final year degree student Jack Holmes couldn't agree more about the importance of studying the right course. The 21 year old comes from a family of farmers on the Romney Marsh - none of whom went to university - so they were surprised, but supportive, when Jack decided his future didn't lie with cows. Jack came to Kingston University on a straight business studies degree, but was quickly cherry picked by his tutor for his outstanding computing skills and was encouraged to transfer on to the business information technology degree. He hasn't looked back since even going on to win a prestigious student scholarship and being invited to an international conference in Washington, D.C.
Jack admits he wasn't very systematic when looking for a university degree course to study and so didn't hit on the right subject to begin with. His top tip to prospective students is to find a topic they can feel passionate about. "Do what you want, not what your friends are doing," he advised. "You may not know them in years to come but you'll be stuck with your degree choices."