Posted Thursday 15 August 2019
Kingston University's Clearing hotline headquarters has been bustling with activity all morning as thousands of eager applicants receiving their A-level results try to snap up one of the remaining course places for September.
The University has a dedicated team of 120 specially trained hotline operators who have already taken more than 1,900 calls from prospective students. The atmosphere in the headquarters has been electric as operators and admissions tutors have been able to offer a place instantly to some of the eager callers.
Ed Beales, who is overseeing the University's annual Clearing and confirmation operation, said hotline operators had been taking calls from students who had narrowly missed out on their predicted grades as well as those who had done better than expected. "There are still places available in some subject areas, including business, engineering and the environment, film, photography and pharmacy, so I would urge students to call the hotline straight away to discuss their options," he said.
Students phoning up today would have an initial conversation with a friendly hotline operator during which they could discuss details of their A-level results, Mr Beales said. If their grades met course requirements, they would be able to speak to a course admissions tutor straight away to find out whether they could be matched with a vacant place. "We will continue to take calls from hopeful students until all our vacancies are filled. There will be heavy demand for 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 advised.
"All the operators - many of whom are former students - are specially trained and understand how nerve racking Clearing can be, so they will be able to put callers at ease and help explore all the options available to them," he added.
Hotline operator Saffron Shomaly graduated with a degree in dance from Kingston University in July and has been taking calls all morning from enthusiastic applicants. She said some students had been phoning up in tears after A-level disappointment so it has been a rewarding experience to be able to assist them. "When you first pick up the phone you can instantly tell how that caller is feeling. Some have been crying after just missing out on the grades they were hoping for so it's been great to be able to reassure then and help show them what their options are," she said.
Delivering good news to an applicant looking to get a place on a science course has been the highlight of her morning so far, the 24-year-old said. "It's so rewarding when they are given a place over the phone. The caller had been quite calm throughout the call but when the admissions tutor offered him a place on the spot he was so excited," she added.
Associate professor in the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education Susan Watson was able to offer a place to an applicant who was lacking confidence but took the important step to call the University's Clearing hotline. "This caller said she didn't have the confidence to go to University so didn't apply, but she spoke to a friend who encouraged her to pick up the phone and see what happened," she explained.
Ms Watson said the caller was ideal for the University's BA (Hons) Working with Children and Young People Social Pedagogy course and she was able to reassure her that she'd done better in her exams than she'd thought. "She was a perfect fit for our course and I was delighted to be able to make her an offer - I hope to see her starting at the University next month," Ms Watson said.
To get the most out of their calls, applicants are advised to have the right details to hand, such as such as their UCAS identification and full details of qualifications to hand, including subjects, grades, dates obtained and exam boards.