Kingston University has a clear message for students still waiting to find the course that will shape their future after they get their A-level grades – keep calm. The University opens its Clearing hotline as soon as results are released on August 19 and callers can be sure of a sympathetic ear. As many as 6,000 students are expected to call Kingstonâ€™s hotline eager to snap up the few remaining places on its courses.
Prospective students do not need to wait until August 19 before turning their attention to making that all-important university decision. From today, higher education hopefuls can see details of course vacancies at Kingston University by logging on to its website. UK Marketing Manager Anthony Allen, who is responsible for student recruitment, said there were definitely still opportunities for people looking for the perfect university place. â€œThere will inevitably be students who have taken a year out or who havenâ€™t quite got the grades they had hoped for, but they should not feel their options are limited,â€ Mr Allen said. â€œIf they have a conditional offer from a university but find on results day they have just missed out on the right marks, they should ring that university first. Some may still be able to offer applicants a place or suggest similar alternative courses. After that, they need to get on the phone to other universities as quickly as possible. Clearing can open up a whole new range of possibilities and, if those students who are waiting for their results think ahead now, they will be better placed to make the most of those vital phone calls.â€
On A-level results day, official lists of course vacancies will be published in the Independent and the Daily Mirror and on the University and College Admissions Service (UCAS) website. UCAS applicants without a university place on August 19 will automatically be posted a Clearing entry form but they should not wait for it to arrive in the post, Mr Allen said. Instead, he advises students to draw up a shortlist of courses that interest them and contact the universities directly. â€œClearing is a bit like a degree course sale where students with the right entry points can snap up vacant places. But, as in any sale, the earlier you shop the better the choice,â€ he said. â€œIdeally, students should have already considered their subject strengths and have their A-level and GCSE results on hand when they call their chosen university. Itâ€™s also a good idea prepare a list of questions about the course and the institution.â€
At Kingston University, students will first speak to specially trained hotline operators. Those with the grades needed to fill a course vacancy will be transferred through to academic staff. There will also be plenty of help on hand for callers who do not quite meet Kingstonâ€™s course criteria. â€œStudents sometimes forget the other options available through Clearing,â€ Mr Allen said. â€œAlongside its full degree programme, Kingston also offers two-year Foundation Degrees in such subjects as computing and aircraft engineering and runs HNDs with partner colleges in South West London.â€