Posted Thursday 17 August 2017
Phones at Kingston University's Clearing headquarters have been ringing red hot since lines went live on A-level results day, with hotline advisers reporting that they had spoken to many high-calibre applicants keen to snap up one of the few remaining course spots. By close of play on A-level results day, approximately 4,500 prospective students had called the hotline and the University had made more than 1,400 offers of degree places.
A dedicated team of 170 specially trained hotline operators, working alongside academic staff, have been speaking to students many of whom only narrowly missed out on their predicted A-level grades. Director of Admissions Dr Andy Homer, who oversees Kingston University's annual Clearing operation, said hotline staff were also taking calls from students who had done better than expected or were seeking a last-minute change of subject before enrolling for university next month.
Dr Homer said students should not panic if they didn't get straight through to the hotline operators. "The first two days of Clearing are always the busiest for us as students try to secure one of the last spaces available," he explained. "We still have vacancies up for grabs in subject areas ranging from science to social work, so the message is don't delay, call now and keep trying if lines are busy and students will soon get through to a friendly member of staff ready to help."
Callers would have an initial conversation with a hotline operator during which they would discuss details of their A-level results, Dr Homer said. If their grades met course requirements, they would then be put in touch with an academic to see whether they could be matched with an unfilled place. "We will continue to take calls from degree hopefuls until all our vacancies are filled. There will be heavy demand on our more popular courses though, so students need to be quick off the mark to have a chance of getting a place on the degree they're most interested in," he cautioned.
Business management student Jack Connelly, 19, knows exactly how students who just missed out on their grades will be feeling. Jack was in the same position last year when he didn't achieve his target A-level results. A call to the Kingston University Clearing hotline, however, quickly alleviated his worries and got him back on the right track. The Clearing staff had been extremely reassuring and helpful, Jack said. "It all went surprisingly smoothly and I was delighted to hear that I could study business after all," he added.
Students coming through Clearing should research courses before they made their calls, Dr Homer said. "It's vital they know the differences between similar subject areas and are able to explain why they want to go to a particular university," he said. "They also need to have the correct information - such as their Clearing number, UCAS ID and full details of their qualifications - to hand."