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I work in university admissions AMA
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UniAdmissions · 17/08/2022 18:13

Hello

Ahead of A Level results day, I thought I'd see whether anybody wanted to ask any questions about university admissions or clearing.

I only have experience of one university so obviously can't answer for all but will try my best with any general questions.

I'll be working long hours for the next few days helping students who have just got their results but for some reason I thought I'd offer my services early!

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ditavonteesed · 17/08/2022 18:15

Me please. If dd doesn't get her first choice and doesn't want her back up can she reject the back up and go into clearing. Also her first choice offers a foundation year option (I saw it in clearing) is she likely to be offer this or will she have to go through clearing for it? Thanks

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UniAdmissions · 17/08/2022 18:21

ditavonteesed · 17/08/2022 18:15

Me please. If dd doesn't get her first choice and doesn't want her back up can she reject the back up and go into clearing. Also her first choice offers a foundation year option (I saw it in clearing) is she likely to be offer this or will she have to go through clearing for it? Thanks

Yes, if she doesn't get her first choice then she will be automatically considered by her insurance choice but she doesn't have to go there even if they accept her. She can contact them and ask to be released into clearing so that she can choose somewhere else.

It would make sense to hold on to that insurance place until she has somewhere else she's happy with though. She can contact as many unis as she wants and then ask to be released into clearing once she knows where she wants to go (and is confident they will accept her).

Re the foundation, this depends on the institution but I would expect them to offer her that option if she doesn't meet for y1 but does meet the foundation requirements.

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ditavonteesed · 17/08/2022 18:24

Thank you so much, I'm so nervous. Dd definitely doesn't want to go to insurance as she Doesn't want to leave home. I couldn't work out how you do it. So you don't just decline the place online you have to call? And sorry hogging all the questions does this all have to be done tomorrow?

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Bellie99 · 17/08/2022 18:29

DD has applied for a deferred place for 2023 start. If miss grades tomorrow does she have to go through clearing tomorrow or does she have slightly more time? Thank you

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alevelmum2022 · 17/08/2022 18:30

How does it work when they call a clearing hotline? Assume it has to be the student ?
I have seen some places say to have Gcse and A level grades. Also personal statement? Is that needed?

When they call the University hotline will they be told if they are accepted there and given a number- again what someone told us. What would the student do with that.
If they get a clearing place and want to reject an insurance offer do they call the uni or reject it through the ucas system?

Just want to make sure I understand how it all happens.

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somanybooks · 17/08/2022 18:31

Can I ask about postgraduate admissions please? If someone had previously got a good degree, and a post graduate diploma, worked professionally then spent some time as a SAHM, how long would their previous experience and qualifications be valid for an application for a masters degree? Would you expect them to do a pre-masters at some point (what point post previous qualifications)?

Which people are generally recommended to do a pre-masters as a condition for doing a masters in your experience?

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Emanresu9 · 17/08/2022 18:32

Are private schools applicants actually negatively discriminated against or is that a rumour?

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TrufflesForBreakfast · 17/08/2022 18:38

Are considerations made for the fact this year's cohort will be up against last year's deferrals who arguably have applied / will be applying with 'inflated' grades? And will these Covid years be taken into consideration in the future for those applicants that apply as mature students?

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TrufflesForBreakfast · 17/08/2022 18:38

Bellie99 · 17/08/2022 18:29

DD has applied for a deferred place for 2023 start. If miss grades tomorrow does she have to go through clearing tomorrow or does she have slightly more time? Thank you

Also hoping for an answer to this one!

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UniAdmissions · 17/08/2022 18:40

@ditavonteesed No problem, I’m happy to help! I would definitely recommend phoning the institution(s) she does want to go to. Most of them will have a clearing hotline phone number on their website. When she calls they will ask which course she wants to do and what her grades are and usually will be able to tell her there and then whether she would be accepted or not. Some places may then reserve a place for her for a day or two to give her time to reject any offers she’s still holding and add the new institution as her clearing choice in UCAS. It’s a bit risky just to get released into clearing and then add another institution as the clearing choice without first speaking to them to check she would be accepted.

In terms of how to get released into clearing, where I work this can be done by phone or by sending a request online and we try to prioritise these requests, as we understand students will be trying to get accepted somewhere else as soon as possible.

It doesn’t have to be done tomorrow but it’s generally a case of first come first served. Most universities will continue to accept students via clearing until either the course becomes full or the course starts (whichever is soonest). So the urgency of sorting it depends on how popular her chosen course/institution are.

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Moonface123 · 17/08/2022 18:43

How do home schooled students who are self taught, no tutors, get around their predicted grades when applying ?

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UniAdmissions · 17/08/2022 18:47

@Bellie99 and @TrufflesForBreakfast There is definitely more time and flexibility for those applying for a deferred place because in the worst case scenario the student can start all over again and make a fresh application during the 22/23 cycle, with the standard winter deadlines.

I would say it’s worth exploring the clearing options over the coming days though, as requirements are often (not always) lower during the clearing period and may increase again for the new cycle. So the student may be accepted to an institution during this clearing period which they wouldn’t be eligible for if they waited and submitted a new application in the autumn.

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TrufflesForBreakfast · 17/08/2022 18:50

Thank you @UniAdmissions. So there will definitely be courses available in clearing for courses starting in 2023?

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UniAdmissions · 17/08/2022 18:59

@alevelmum2022 It’s always preferred if the student calls rather than a parent. Yes, the student should be prepared with their A Level and GCSE grades to hand. A personal statement isn’t needed.

Usually, the grades alone will be enough for the person on the phone to advise whether or not they can be accepted to their chosen course (this may be different for some courses e.g. art and design where a portfolio assessment is required). Once the student has been told they meet the requirements they then need to add that institution as their clearing choice in UCAS. Different universities have different ways of making sure that when that happens they know it’s someone they’ve spoken to and agreed to accept.

Where I work we keep a record of every student we speak to and whether or not we’ve said we’d accept them via clearing. This means that when they apply via UCAS clearing we know what we’ve already agreed and can then confirm the place. We explain to the student how much time they have to add us as their clearing choice before they would lose their reserved place and have to start again. I’m not sure about being given a number but perhaps that’s what a different institution does to record a clearing phone call.

You can ask to be released into clearing via the online UCAS system or by asking the uni to do it. This is a relatively new thing called ‘self-release’. @ditavonteesed I'm sorry I didn’t mention this to you as I’d forgotten it now existed!

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alevelmum2022 · 17/08/2022 19:02

@uniadmissions thanks so much for answering all this. It makes it much clearer.

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UniAdmissions · 17/08/2022 19:06

@somanybooks Where I work PG admissions is a lot more nuanced and assessments are made on a case by case basis, so it’s a bit difficult to answer your first question. It would depend on your grades in your previous study (and the relevance of it to your new course), as well as the length and relevance of your work experience. We would also look at references and personal statement and all of this would be taken into account when determining whether an offer could be made. I believe some unis do have specific time periods where previous study ‘expires’ so it would be worth contacting the institution you’re interested in to ask about this.

In my experience we only recommend a Pre-masters when somebody hasn’t quite met the requirements of the Masters e.g. they have a third class degree. We do also offer some ‘conversion’ Pre-masters, which is for students who don’t have the required learning in the Bachelors degree to equip them for the Masters degree, even if they have met grade requirement.

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ditavonteesed · 17/08/2022 19:09

Thank you so much for doing this it's very kind of you

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Sellie555 · 17/08/2022 19:09

I have a 19 yr old Ukrainian girl staying with me. She been studying economics at uni in ukraine the last 2 years. She is extremely intelligent; she got the top marks in her high school diplomas (she got the equivalent of straight ‘9’s across the board). She also has received the highest marks in her urkainian uni so far and actually won a scholarship to study there

she wants to continue her studies here in sept. I can’t go into too much info on here but LSE accepted her to study there. She is not in the position to move out of the home away from her mum and sister and so we been looking at a local university to study economics (definitely not a top tier uni to study economics at compared to LSE!)

however, this uni refused saying simply ‘you do not meet the entry requirements’. As they didn’t expand on that I contacted them, they said they don’t accept the Ukrainian high school diploma. Even tho she also has two years of an economics degree behind her…

i don’t understand why such a competitive distinguished uni like LSE would take her but the local uni refuses ??? 🤷‍♀️ They are missing out on a gifted student

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UniAdmissions · 17/08/2022 19:10

@Emanresu9 We don't discriminate against private school applicants where I work.

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percypig · 17/08/2022 19:10

Just jumping on to mention that UCAS have really useful guidance which covers many of the questions asked above.

I’m a teacher and never sleep well before results day, will be worse in 2 years when it’s my own eldest! I have some responsibility for 6th form so was reminding myself of the processes earlier and it occurred to me that it would be a useful way for anxious parents to spend some time this evening - more productive than worrying!

I’d also echo what the OP said - while you don’t have to do everything tomorrow, in my experience there is an advantage in being proactive, making phone calls/enquiries as soon as possible and being prepared with a list of the info which might be required. For some courses this might include details of modules studied where there is a choice. I’ve also found it pays to be persistent.

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UniAdmissions · 17/08/2022 19:11

TrufflesForBreakfast · 17/08/2022 18:38

Are considerations made for the fact this year's cohort will be up against last year's deferrals who arguably have applied / will be applying with 'inflated' grades? And will these Covid years be taken into consideration in the future for those applicants that apply as mature students?

These are very good questions but I'm afraid none of this is being taken into account as far as I'm aware.

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UniAdmissions · 17/08/2022 19:15

@Moonface123 It’s unusual for there not to be any kind of tutor involved at A Level stage. We would usually require a tutor to assist with predicted grades for home schooled students. If there is no tutor then I would recommend contacting the institutions you’re applying to for advice. I think I’d have to ask colleagues about this one if I were dealing with it myself.

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Lavendersummer · 17/08/2022 19:16

If a student is on home fees but doesn’t live in the Uk and did a different exam board eg USA Advanced Placement (AP) can they still go through clearing like the A Level result students. Thank you

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UniAdmissions · 17/08/2022 19:18

TrufflesForBreakfast · 17/08/2022 18:50

Thank you @UniAdmissions. So there will definitely be courses available in clearing for courses starting in 2023?

Sorry, I wasn't clear. You can only apply through clearing for the current year so I meant they may wish to consider starting this year if their grades are lower than hoped and it allows them to enter an institution which would otherwise require higher grades.

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UniAdmissions · 17/08/2022 19:18

ditavonteesed · 17/08/2022 19:09

Thank you so much for doing this it's very kind of you

You're welcome 🙂

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