Posted Monday 11 August 2014
Like many A-level students, Renisha Robin discovered her academic calling several months after the UCAS deadline had passed. That meant the 19 year old, now completing a BSc in Civil Engineering at Kingston University, was grateful for the opportunity Clearing provided to reconsider her academic interests.
"I didn't perform quite as well as I'd expected in my A-levels and wasn't able to get into my first choice university," Renisha, originally from Chatham in Kent, explained. "Although I was accepted into my second choice institution, I made the decision to decline that offer to pursue a degree I was genuinely interested in. Maths had been my favourite subject at A-level and I've always had a fascination with building things, so I felt civil engineering would be the ideal course for me."
Contacting Kingston University on results day had been relatively simple, Renisha recalled. "I'm the first person in my family to go to university so I was worried it was going to be a really complicated process," she said. "It definitely helped set my mind at rest to see all the information I needed, such as relevant phone numbers, was available on Kingston University's website and I received the offer of a place on the course on the very day I called, which was an unexpected surprise."
Although Renisha's decision to pursue engineering at degree level came late in the day, she has thrived since joining the course. "I'm proud to be a woman in engineering, which is often perceived as a male-dominated career," she said. "I love my degree and feel I've found a course that really plays to my strengths. Achieving a first class mark for my projects this year was a very rewarding feeling that reinforced to me that I'd definitely made the right decision."
Renisha attributes her success so far at university to the opportunity Clearing provided to re-evaluate her interests. "Without Clearing, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to study something that I'm genuinely passionate about," she said. "I'm glad I didn't just jump into any course without giving it some careful thought first."
She is eager to reassure students who might need to use the Clearing process this year that it is not as daunting as it might seem. "There is no shame in finding a place through Clearing," Renisha added. "It's simply another route into university - it's still competitive and you still have to prove that you're worthy of a spot on the course."