Clearing advisers help others discover new opportunities

Understanding, supportive, insightful and clear. They are some of the words used by students to describe the advice which reinforced their decision to study at Plymouth University.

More than 80 trained advisers, including many current students, will be staffing a special hotline – 0333 241 6929 – from Thursday 18 August to guide prospective students.

They will be aiming to take the stress out of what can be a daunting time, with many of those waiting to receive calls having come through Clearing to study at the University themselves.

Jenita Loheswaran, 20, who has just finished Stage 2 of the BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science course, said:

“I can really relate to what students will be feeling like as I’ve been there myself – hopefully I’ll be able to help them through the day and see many of them here in September.”

Rob Carnon, 54, has just completed a foundation year in Management, Government and Law and is about to begin a full-time Law degree. He said: 

“I was only on the phone for around 20 minutes, but by the time the call finished I had a clear picture of what I needed to do and what was likely to happen.”

And Paul Murphy, 26, who has just completed an MSc Applied Marine Science programme, said:

“Since choosing Plymouth University I have had such a great time and I would love to help other people have a similar experience.”

The Clearing hotline dealt with more than 10,000 calls in 2015, and will be staffed from 7am on Thursday 18 August, finally closing at 4pm on Friday 26 August. But students who have not already applied but would like to come to Plymouth can pre-register by completing a form at www.plymouth.ac.uk/study/clearing.

It will be supplemented with an interactive digital hub, which will provide the latest information – through social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook – on course closures, vacancies and contact points and warn of any problems in the UCAS environment.

Callers could be transferred to academics and tutors, who will be able to answer specific questions about their chosen subject, and there will be a specific schools and college hotline, which will deal directly with teachers who can pass the latest information to their own students.

Special Confirmation and Clearing Information Days will also take place on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 August, to provide an opportunity for prospective students to have a last look and get a feel for the campus and culture.

David Alder, Chief Marketing Officer at Plymouth University, said:

“Clearing can be a time of great opportunity and discovery. And while the first reaction when you receive A-level results may be to panic, we have trained and experienced advisers on hand to help you make an informed choice for you. We have many graduates now enjoying successful careers having done just that, so give us a call and you could be following in their footsteps.”

Rob Carnon, LLB (Hons) Law student, starting in September 2016

All his life, Rob Carnon has been passionate about talking to – and helping – people. It was something initially impressed on him by family but a trait which he has continued throughout his working life, which has included lengthy spells in retail and, more recently, as a housing officer. And it is that which prompted him to sign up for the Clearing hotline at Plymouth University this summer.

“Choosing a course at university, and choosing the right university, is a very stressful and worrying time for anyone regardless of their age,” said Rob, 54. “But my goal will be to try and put people at ease and to help them make the right choice for them. It is all about making sure people are informed because this is a key decision that will have an impact on people for the rest of their lives.”

Rob called the Clearing hotline in August 2015 having decided he wanted a change of focus. And despite the fact that he had not been waiting on any results, he admits it was still a worrying time. But within minutes, his worries had been eased and he was given a verbal offer to study a foundation year in Management, Government and Law. Having successfully completed that, he will begin his first year on the BA (Hons) Law degree in September.

“The people I spoke to last year were so understanding and supportive, and they gave me all the information I needed,” adds Rob, who has this year worked as a student representative and been nominated for Student Rep of the Year. “I was only on the phone for around 20 minutes, but by the time the call finished I had a clear picture of what I needed to do and what was likely to happen. That experience will enable me to help others in the same position this year, and I am looking forward to helping others get through what can be a difficult time.”

Jenita Loheswaran, Stage 2 BSc (Hons) Biomedical and Healthcare Sciences

Jenita Loheswaran contacted the Clearing hotline at Plymouth University in August 2014 having narrowly missed out on the grades she needed to study medicine. A few minutes later, having received first class advice and assistance, she had enrolled on the BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science course, and has just completed her second year.

“I had applied to two universities and rang them both but, as cliché as it sounds, my heart was already set on Plymouth – I couldn’t imagine studying anywhere else,” says Jenita. “I spoke to a lovely young lady who was really understanding, particularly as emotions were obviously running very high that day. She helped me through the whole process from start to finish, and as soon as I got a verbal offer on the phone, I didn’t even bother trying to call up anywhere else.”

Since then, Jenita has never looked back, saying her lecturers are fantastic and passionate, which makes for really enjoyable and interesting lectures that never get boring. She has also involved herself in numerous clubs and societies and now, in her words, “can’t imagine being anywhere else”.

This will be the second year she has helped on the Clearing hotline, and she is already looking forward to using her own experiences to help more students follow in her footsteps. She added:

“Going through it all myself was massively insightful and I owe a load of respect and gratitude to the people I spoke to on results day. They got me through a really stressful time and I would love to be able to be that person for someone else this year! I can really relate to what students will be feeling like on results day as I’ve been there myself – hopefully I’ll be able to empathise with them and help them through the day and see many of them here in September.”

Paul Murphy, MSc Applied Marine Sciences graduate

As the first person from his family to go into higher education, Paul Murphy could not turn to relatives when he needed detailed support in securing his place at university. He also had received conflicting advice from his school, but when A-level results day came around, he had a clear plan of action.

“I had been to an open day at Plymouth and knew I liked the university and the city,” he said. “I also knew this had to be my decision so I picked up the phone and gave Plymouth a call. After speaking to the admissions team, and then the Clearing hotline, I had a clear picture of what I wanted to do.”

Paul enrolled to study on the BSc (Hons) Geography and Ocean Science course and, as the saying goes, has never looked back. After successfully graduating, he signed up for a part-time Masters programme in Applied Marine Sciences which he has also completed this summer. Outside of his academic studies, he has been a student ambassador and this will be the second time he has worked on the Clearing hotline.

“I like to be in a role where I am supporting others and I know those calling the hotline will feel exactly as I did,” he adds. “But I also know that since choosing Plymouth University I have had such a great time and I would love to help other people get the opportunity to have a similar experience.”

Register in advance for Clearing

You don't have to wait until A level results day to register for clearing, you can pre-register here now!

Keep yourself updated and beat the results day rush by registering your interest in a Clearing or Adjustment place with Plymouth University.