THE clock is ticking down to the moment when students across Bucks discover their A Level results next Thursday - and with it the possible stress of finding a university place through the Clearing process.
Elizabeth Pate, the Buckinghamshire New University student recruitment team leader, has some top tips to share with parents of prospective students to help them prepare and be able to advise their children in the best way.
She said: "I know that Clearing is a stressful time for prospective students, but can also be extremely worrying for their parents.
"As part of my role, I talk to many concerned parents during the Clearing period, and there are some specific things that they can do which can really help to make the process smoother and less stressful for them and their sons and daughters."
"Firstly, you need to ensure that your son/daughter knows their UCAS ID number, so that they are able to access UCAS Track quickly and easily on A level results day.
• Don’t panic! If your child doesn’t meet the requirements of their offer, I’d advise them to contact their first choice university in the first instance to discuss their options, as they may be offered a place on an alternative course.
• Help with research into alternative university choices that they could contact through Clearing. The UCAS website (www.ucas.com) is a great starting point to find out more information regarding alternative institutions and courses. You can also find information on the best way to contact them throughout the Clearing period, as there are often dedicated teams available for this purpose.
• Keep a record of all the universities that your child has contacted through Clearing to ensure that they can make the right decision about which institution they wish to accept.
• Be aware that universities often need to speak directly with applicants for specific information, so make sure that your son/daughter is available on the phone throughout the Clearing period, August 14 to 30.
• Finally, if your son/daughter is offered a place at a university through Clearing that you have not have previously visited or is in an area that you’re not familiar with, ask about the possibility of visiting your child’s chosen university for a campus tour, before term starts, to ensure that you and they are happy that this is the right choice for them."
The Clearing hotline number is 0800 0565 660 or students can email enquiries through to firstname.lastname@example.org. Students are also able to access a dedicated online clearing portal at www.bucks.ac.uk/clearing.
This year Bucks New University's Clearing hotline is open from: 7.30am-8pm next Thursday and Friday (August 14 and 15); 9am-3pm on August 16; 10am-3pm on August 17; 8.30am-6pm from August 18 - 21; 8.30am-4.30pm on August 22; 10am-3pm August 23 - August 25; 8.30am-6pm from August 26 - August 28; 8.30am-4.30pm on August 29; 8.30am-6pm on August 30.