Why did you decide to contact Lancaster University through Adjustment and Clearing?
I decided to contact Lancaster University as it was one of the few prestigious universities offering Clearing positions at the time. My UCAS coordinator and I scanned the available Clearing options across universities and degrees, and we quickly decided that Lancaster was the optimal choice. In fact, after further scrutiny into the degree and university itself, we were quite surprised that Clearing positions were on offer at all!
How would you advise applicants entering Adjustment and Clearing this year?
When it comes to Clearing, time is the essence. Indeed this is something that my UCAS coordinator elaborated on multiple times. As soon as your results are out, you must formulate a plan, identify Clearing positions on offer and choose those that you are interested in. If the appropriate resources such as a UCAS coordinator are available at your school, then use them, they’ll be able to provide further guidance. As soon as you have chosen potential Clearing choices, contact the corresponding universities' Undergraduate admissions offices and introduce yourself, before Clearing day.
Finally it is important that you keep your cool, fight off the initial disappointment and start thinking of this as a chance to rectify the situation. There are often still very good universities such as Lancaster, offering high standard degrees, and it is by no means the end of the world that you didn’t achieve your original grades and choices.
Do you have any advice for parents or teachers?
Besides the UCAS coordinator, parents and teachers must be highly supportive and facilitate the 'moving on' process. That is, ensuring that the student acknowledges that Clearing is not a process for failing students, but a system in place that is a result of students in general not filling the places. Indeed clearing positions become available at other universities for multiple reasons, perhaps due to their students not fulfilling their required marks, or some students deciding last minute that they’d rather take a Gap year, or maybe just because they did not receive the number of applications expected, and hence opportunity still remains. The parents must feed this to the student, that Clearing is merely another opportunistic process, and support them through what can be a heavily disappointing and emotional time for the student.
What do you feel is the best aspect of studying at Lancaster University?
The best aspect of studying at Lancaster University for me is the campus community, which few universities in the UK can boast. This, in addition to the collegiate system greatly boosts the university experience, as one makes many an abundance of friends and is involved far more with university activities, events and socials. This sense of community is felt in most aspects of Lancaster University, including its faculties such as the Management School, and even the city itself which is small and buzzing with Lancaster University students.
What's best about the social life and activities at Lancaster?
One of the Lancaster myths that sometimes prevails, particularly down south of the UK, is that it is quiet and boring. This could not be more inaccurate! The University and its Students' Union offer 170 societies, ranging from Sailing, to Poker, to Archery. Likewise in terms of sports, there are 35 sports clubs ranging from American Football to Dodgeball, and we have a brand new Sports Centre!
All of these societies as well as the colleges themselves arrange socials both on campus and in town, exploiting the many bars and clubs found in both (each college on campus has its own bar too!). The Students' Union also has its own club in the city in which only students are permitted to attend! Ultimately, there is something for everyone and you are never bored!
How does Lancaster University provide you with support, advice and guidance?
The University has a dedicated central team, which provides support, advice and guidance to all students in general, including a Careers service. University faculties such as Lancaster University Management School also offer a dedicated team to support students in their career choice, and subject departments offer academic support. In addition, each college provides a service on a personal level to students.
What advice would you give to college students considering contacting Lancaster University via Adjustment and Clearing in 2014?
My advice would be to quickly surpass the (to-be-expected) feelings of devastation and disappointment and start focusing on the Clearing process, understand it and start choosing the universities of your interest. Utilise your UCAS coordinator and seek support from the school.
Then make sure you get in contact with the universities of interest and find out whether they think you would be eligible for one of their Clearing positions. Be polite and clear with them, explain what has happened, but then also sell yourself if you get the chance when speaking on the phone with someone from the Admissions team. Ensure to also send them your personal statement and CV directly, tailoring it to their university of course! This shows that you have put effort into your Clearing choice and that you are indeed very interested.
And finally, what do you aspire to be?
A tough question for anyone who has just finished university. For now, I will be commencing my ‘Planning & Control’ graduate scheme with Rolls-Royce plc. from September, which I am very excited about. I therefore aspire to do the best job I can and progress through the company, using the skills that I have acquired from Lancaster University to facilitate this.