Phones at Kingston Universityâ€™s Clearing headquarters have been ringing off the hook this morning and by midday operators had taken almost 1,000 calls from anxious A-level students. Clearing operates like a course sale, with students across the country who have just gained their results competing for the remaining places available at universities.
Lines at Kingston University have been red hot since they opened at 8.30am this morning and UK Marketing Manager Anthony Allen, who is responsible for student recruitment said that hotline advisers expected to handle up to 500 calls per hour during the next few days. â€œCompetition is always fierce for places on popular courses,â€ Mr Allen said. â€œStudents need to contact the University really quickly once they open their results envelopes to maximise their chances of getting a place on the courses they really want to study.â€
Many school-leavers ringing the hotline had only just missed out on the grades they expected and were worried they couldnâ€™t go to university, Mr Allen said. â€œWeâ€™ve also been helping people who got better results than they expected and others who have made a last minute decision to go to college. Kingston University has a reputation for excellent teaching and some of its courses are considered the best in the country so our hotline operators will be kept very busy during the Clearing period,â€ he added.
Hundreds of people are also expected to apply for courses through the Universityâ€™s website and almost 300 students had already logged on to look for places by midday today. â€œAnyone who doesnâ€™t have a place but who would like to start university this autumn should contact us soon either by phone or through our website to get the best choice of subjects. Kingstonâ€™s excellent range of courses and its attractive location close to London make it a popular option,â€ Mr Allen said.
One psychology student at the University knows only too well how anxious callers on the other end of the line are feeling. This time last year, 20-year-old Clare Haylor from Maidstone was one of 6,000 students who called Kingstonâ€™s Clearing hotline desperate to snap up the final few places on its courses. Now Clare, who has just completed the first year of her degree at Kingston University, is wearing a telephone headset herself and helping other students through the Clearing process. â€œIâ€™ll be able to use my experience to reassure students who might be worried, nervous or upset during my time on the hotline,â€ she said. â€œThe advice I got from the Kingston hotline operator last year on how to complete my UCAS form was just what I needed, so I know how important my job is steering this yearâ€™s students in the right direction for their futures.â€