Posted Tuesday 16 August 2022
A Kingston University Clearing hotline operator has urged prospective students to set aside any nerves and act quickly to pick up the phone and discuss their degree options on A-level results day.
Aminah Nawaz will be one of 100 hotline operators taking calls from hopeful students on Thursday, 18 August. She will be working alongside course leaders, lecturers and current students, who will guide applicants through the Clearing process step by step, putting them at ease and answering all their questions.
The undergraduate, from Ilford in East London, said she could completely relate to prospective students applying through Clearing because, this time last year, she was in their shoes.
After starting a foundation year in biological sciences at another university, the 20 year old found she wasn't enjoying the course. "I didn't do enough research on what the foundation year involved," she recalled. "I didn't enjoy the modules and realised that the degree I was working towards just wasn't for me."
Aminah decided she wanted to leave university but, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, had difficulty finding a job. Undeterred, she did some further research and found out about studying pharmacy, which she felt was a better fit for her interests and had good career prospects.
A call to Kingston University's Clearing hotline gave Aminah a chance to talk through her options. "I asked about enrolling on pharmacy but was told I needed an A-level in chemistry, which unfortunately I didn't have," she explained. "Instead, they recommended I considered a BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology. I applied and was accepted," she said.
Her positive experience of going through the Clearing process was nowhere near as daunting as she had imagined, Aminah said. "The hotline operator put me at ease and dealt with my enquiry straight away. They were really helpful in finding me a place at the University, even though I didn't quite match the requirements for my first possibility," she said.
Now a hotline operator herself, Aminah will be advising prospective students calling Kingston University on 18 August to keep an open mind about their choices, as there may be a variety of course programmes available. "When I was in that position, I honestly thought I might not get to go to university," she said. "Don't be nervous though, because there is help out there. Applicants just need to read up about the courses offered on university websites and be ready to pick up the phone and they'll find there's so much support and good advice available," she said.
Kingston University pharmacology course director Dr Anna Morgan said Clearing could give prospective students a new sense of direction and help them find the programme that was the best fit. "There are a wide variety of subjects out there that equip students with the knowledge and practical skills for a career in a field that interests them, so it's important they make the most of the opportunity to call up to find out more," she added.
With the first year of her degree now complete, Aminah is eagerly awaiting the start her second year. She plans to continue commuting to campus from her home in Ilford. "The lecturers and tutors have been really welcoming and understanding and the pharmacology course itself is very interesting," she said. "Now I'm really looking forward to going into my second year and making the most of everything my degree and time on campus has to offer."