Monday, 27 July 2015

It’s not all doom and gloom!

Aimee
Clearing is well underway and as the summer goes on we are receiving more and more clearing applications! 

We hear from so many of you each day, all with your different reasons for wanting to undertake a degree. The programmes that we offer here are so varied and diverse- and there are a number of different career pathways you can take as a University of Greenwich graduate. But what about pathways into higher education?

Young and mature students alike may experience difficulty during the application process if academic qualifications don’t meet the entry criteria. This can be disheartening- however, there are many options that can assist you on your journey into obtaining a degree.

Foundation Degree

More and more subject areas are now offering foundation degrees. Whilst the programmes are provided by the University of Greenwich, they are studied at our partner colleges. Foundation degrees often have a different entry criteria to the bachelor degrees, which is perfect for those who have been out of education for some time or have not achieved the grades that they were expecting. These programmes are studied for 2 years full time, and offer a recognised qualification in their own right. There is also the option to make a fast-track application to third-year entry degree programmes on successful completion of the foundation degree. This means that you would still have obtained a full bachelor’s degree within three years. For more details on how foundation degrees work, give us a ring on 020 8331 9000 or check out my colleague Manpreet’s blog from earlier this month!

HND and HNC

Higher National Certificates and Higher National Diplomas are level 4 and 5 qualifications respectively. HNC’s are equivalent to the 1st year of a degree programme, and HND’s account for the 2nd year. Again, on successful completion of these programmes you can apply for either 2nd or 3rd year entry into a related programme- this is subject to academic approval. An advantage to HND’s and HNC’s again are that they tend to have a lower entry criteria- and are often cheaper to study!

Extended Degree

Extended Degrees offer an additional year to the normal 3 year full-time undergraduate degree. Extended degrees tend to have lower entry requirements, so you complete a foundation year as it were, which is referred to as ‘year 0’. What is handy is that you do not have to apply to continue into year 1- the only condition is that you have successfully completed all modules to progress into the next year of study.

A selection of foundation degrees, HND’s, HNC’s and extended degrees are available through clearing at the University of Greenwich. For more information or to apply, contact our clearing hotline on 020 8331 9000.

If none of these programmes suit you, do not despair! You may want to explore the idea of Access to Higher Education Diplomas. These programmes incorporate level 3 qualifications (equivalent to A-Levels or B-Techs), with level 2 qualifications (which for some programmes can be equivalent to your GCSEs in Maths and English). Always check with the university that your degree programme of interest accepts access courses prior to applying. They are usually studied for one year full time. Access courses are not offered at universities, however you may want to research into what courses are available at your local college.

Good luck with your applications!

Aimee

Friday, 24 July 2015

It's the little things

Kaya
Hi everyone. We are now a few weeks into clearing with results day creeping up on us quickly. Having been in the same positon as many of you waiting for my results a couple year back, I understand the stress and the excitement one goes through. This year is my second clearing so I can give you a heads up on what to expect over the next coming weeks.                                                 

We have hundreds and thousands of students contacting us during clearing, with various different questions and results. As much as all us staff can find clearing a little stressful, dealing with both happy and sad applicants, we all do enjoy it and gladly give our time to you and the university for the summer months.

There are a few things to remember that can make your application run a bit more smoothly when speaking with us:

  • Our team of operators is made up of students currently studying at University of Greenwich, so might have been through the process of clearing too. We do understand the pressure that you may be under and we’ll do our best to help you, so we appreciate it when you’re polite, even in the face of unexpected or undesired news.
  • Don’t ever give up on your ambitions to go to university and study your passion, even if we are not able to take your application (there are so many universities out there). We will always do our best to help you find other opportunities, so try to remain open to alternative routes to your goals.
  • Remember to have your personal ID ready, but do give your operator a chance to introduce themselves. It means that both you and your operator are ready, engaged in the call, and it’ll mean you’ll be less likely to need to repeat yourself.
  • No one can know everything, so whilst our operators are very knowledgeable, there is the odd occasion where we need to refer to someone else. We’ll always ask if we can put you on hold and we’ll let you know what’s going on if it takes longer than expected to resolve your query.
  • Last but not least, whilst we know it’s disappointing when you can’t be made an offer or you don’t meet your conditions, the rules apply to everyone. No amount of pleading, bribing or bargaining, will get us to bend the rules for an individual applicant. Our team work to an entry criteria that we are required to stick to and this means that we can’t make special exceptions. Even for offers involving cake.

Whilst this may seem a little harsh, I hope that it gives you a little insight into the clearing process from our point of view. We are here to help you and look forward to hearing from you. (:

Please call us on 020 8331 9000 or message us on chat at www.gre.ac.uk/clearing, if you have any enquiries or want to make an application.

Lastly, good luck! University is one of the best times of your life.

Kaya x

Thursday, 23 July 2015

The Release Request Process

Poppy
Having gone through picking a university myself, I understand that it is a very important decision when choosing where you want to study for the next 3 years, minimum. So before you want to be released make sure this is really what you want to do, because at one point the University of Greenwich was where you wanted to go. Will you regret being released from us? You really do need to think carefully about this!

However, if you are 100% that you want to be released then you need to be aware of the conditions of release before requesting it.

  • Firstly you must be holding an Unconditional offer that has been Firmly Accepted (UFA)
  • If your offer is a Conditional/Firm (CF) unfortunately you will have to wait to be released until you have provided the University of Greenwich with the results of your conditions.

One thing that a lot of people are unaware of, but should be, is that by making a university your Unconditional/Firm you have now entered a contract with that university. So the release process may not be as easy as you think.

So if you have an offer that is Unconditional and has been Firmly Accepted with the University of Greenwich and you want to be released, the process is as follows:

·         You will need to fill out the online release request form at www.gre.ac.uk/releases
·         You will then receive an email saying that we have received your request, this does not mean that you have been released!
·         The next step is that you will have to wait for a member of the faculty to call you as they will need to discuss your reasons for wanting to be released
·         After the phone call the member of the faculty that you spoke to will confirm their decision with the Admissions team. If they agree to release you from the University of Greenwich, UCAS will then be notified.

There are a couple more things to be aware of when requesting to be released. It cannot be requested over the phone, or through an email or our live chat. If you do have any questions about it, you are more than welcome to contact us through these means, but we cannot release you this way. We also ask you to be patient throughout this process it does not happen straight away, it can take up to 3 working days. So we would like to ask that you wait to contact us if you don't hear from an academic immediately. If you haven't heard, we can check to make sure that your request has been received, however, we cannot speed up how quickly your request will be dealt with. We do understand that it can be a stressful time and will try to help as much as we can and will try to do it as quickly as possible.

Good luck with your applications!

Poppy J

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

The Application Process

Charlie
Hello all.

This is my first clearing, but I’ve already made a number of offers and taken many more applications, as well as dealing with the other queries which people have contacted us with.

I have had a number of callers asking me what they need to enter clearing as well as how the clearing process works.

The first thing which callers will need to inform us of is their UCAS ID number so we are able to find your information on the system. As well as this you are required to not be holding any offers or have been referred to an institution and to have completed fully all qualifications.

If an applicant meets this criteria and we still have places on the selected course our phone and chat operators will try to complete a clearing application for you. Once completed, the clearing application will be passed to the faculty for that course and then will be assessed by academics and admissions staff.

We will try our best to complete an application for you and we do advise you to stay positive about your application and to keep a track on your UCAS track. We also suggest that you create folders or labels for the email address that you included on your UCAS profile.


Good luck with your applications, and remember, keep calm and do your research.


Charlie

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Can I use Clearing?

Jack
Now we are in clearing, for you the applicants this is a time where you can still make applications to institutions if you meet certain conditions. For us the staff behind the computers and phones it means getting to talk to lots of applicants, via telephone, live chat and email, to help them apply and answering their application queries.

To be able to use Clearing, you do need to meet the following:
  • Not be holding any offers.
  • Not have any pending qualifications.
You might enter Clearing if you have applied for the first time after 30th June, did not accept any offers you were made, or did not receive any offers.

Some good tips for when applying: 
  • Make sure you have a UCAS I.D. and have it ready at hand when contacting the university.
  • You can not apply for the same course at an institution that you have already applied and been unsuccessful for.
  • Keep a pen and paper close at hand when contacting the university as we often give out email addresses or other details which are useful to yourself.
  • Stay positive. It can be a stressful time applying in Clearing so keeping a positive attitude can really help.


Monday, 20 July 2015

The Calm before the Storm

Nabil
Clearing has become more and more popular, yet there are still many enquirers who question what Clearing actually means. Clearing is how universities and colleges fill any places they still have on their courses. It's an ideal way for you to find another course.

Things you need to know about clearing 2015/2016:
  1. Clearing runs from 3 July to 21 October and is an opportunity for anyone who hasn’t been accepted by a university or college to find a place on another course.
  2. When you log in to Track, you’ll see if you’re in Clearing. In the ‘Next Steps’ section, there’ll be an option to ‘Add a Clearing choice.’

If you applied after 30 June, you’ll automatically be entered into Clearing.
  1. The first place to start is the UCAS search tool. When you select where you normally live along with ‘Clearing 2015’, you’ll be shown all the available courses. The Telegraph will also publish all Clearing vacancies on Thursday 13 August and Saturday 15 August.
  2. When you’ve found the course want to apply to, give the university a call to ask if they can consider you for a place. If they confirm that they’ll accept you, add the choice in Track in the ‘Your Choices’ section.
  3. If the Uni has offered you a place, they will update your status in Track to show you’ve been accepted. Once this has happened, your Confirmation letter will appear in Track within a week.

Last year, over 150,000 students were reported by UCAS to have entered Clearing after results day. You aren't alone in this process. We are currently in Early Clearing so our lines and chat service are quieter than they will be after results day - “The Calm before the Storm”.

Remember you don’t have anything to lose!

Call our Clearing Hotline on 020 8331 9000, or visit us online to chat to an advisor, where someone will be available to assist.

Good luck everyone!!!

Nabil

Friday, 17 July 2015

Foundation degrees in Clearing

Manpreet
We are currently accepting applications for foundation degrees. A full list of our vacancies is www.gre.ac.uk/clearing.
available at

You may be thinking what the difference between a foundation degree and an undergraduate degree is, I think the two main differences are:
  1. The fees you have to pay for the 2015/16 academic year are £9000 however for a foundation degree it is £6000, so this means you are saving £6000 over the two years.  
  2. Studying at one of our partner colleges will give you extra support and thus a greater chance of succeeding, that’s why if you have lower UCAS points, this might be a good option for you.   
What happens after you have finished the foundation degree?

You will be able to apply through our fast track admissions, simply put this means you will be able to apply for third year entry to our undergraduate programmes. An example of this would be if you studied FdSc Computing at Bexley College, you could make a Fast Track application to our third year entry BSc Computing. For more information about how Fast Track works, so you can see if it's the right option for you, you can visit www.gre.ac.uk/fasttrack.

Don’t think that foundation degrees are for people who are not ‘smart’, this is not the case at all. We will be happy to discuss in more detail about the courses please call 0208 331 9000 for more information, or chat with us online at www.gre.ac.uk/clearing.

Good luck with your applications!

Manpreet :)

Thursday, 16 July 2015

What Clearing isn't

Lucy
Hi guys!!

So we’re now getting into the flow of clearing and the applications are coming in. I’ve now made my first offer and taken plenty of other applications. Remember though, you can contact us with any queries still (it doesn’t have to be about clearing).

I’ve always found that everyone thinks clearing is only for those of us that didn’t quite get the grades we were expecting. THIS ISN’T TRUE!! In the Enquiry Unit we take loads of applications from people who have done better than they expected, as well as those who have been out of education for a while and have recently decided they want to come to university.

Remember we still have plenty of courses available and if you fall into any of these groups why not give us a call?

The University of Greenwich offers a wide range of courses as well as amazing opportunities outside of the course. As I’ve just graduated I can say that these past 3 years have been an amazing experience and I would recommend University of Greenwich to everyone! And yes I know it sounds clich├ęd but I have definitely met some of the greatest people here and some friends for life.

We’re open 9-5 Mon-Fri, and you can either call us on 020 8331 9000, speak to one of us on LiveChat (http://www.gre.ac.uk/clearing) or email us at clearing@gre.ac.uk.

And finally good luck to all of you who are still waiting for your results!

Look forward to hearing from you and hopefully seeing some of you in September!

Lucy x

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Preparation

Carney
Hi guys! My name is Carney and I am one of the Senior Clearing Assistants in the Clearing team

Working Clearing at the University of Greenwich is hard, and long work, however it is good fun. Sometimes someone may call and be unhappy with a certain situation and although it may not be the operators fault, sometimes they just need to let out their frustrations. While those calls can be a bit disheartening, we often receive a call where the person is far happier. The little things we do, by simply doing our job (yet still going above and beyond) can make an applicant very happy. Tears of joy are actually quite common.

Working clearing is rewarding, because you get to work with a great team of people towards the same goal, helping applicants. Although I didn't apply through Clearing, my colleagues and I know that for others, this is a very important time in the progression of their education. To that end, my advice would be for all those in Clearing, be prepared!

Think long and hard about what you want to do and where you want to go. After all it is your choice, you are the one who will be repay the student loan. Once you have made a long and considered decision, contact the university you wish to apply to. But before you do contact them, make sure you are prepared!
  • Make sure you are actually in clearing, i.e. not holding offers with any other university.
  • You know what course you want to study
  • You know what your grades are.
  • Also, that you have your UCAS details ready to give over.
All of this will help you in your application.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions. The only stupid questions are the ones you don’t ask. Ask whoever you’re speaking to what’s on your mind and I am sure they will do their best to help. You can email us, phone us or speak to us on Livechat at www.gre.ac.uk/clearing.

Good luck in clearing friends!

Carney

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

How to get the best out of Clearing

Laura
We are now a few weeks into clearing and I’m sure many of you are eagerly awaiting your exam results and I wish you all the best of luck! If you feel as if you may not have done as well as you thought you would, or maybe even you’ve done better than you expected, you may find yourself in clearing this summer. Choosing the right University and programme for you is very important, so I am here to give you some advice on how to get the best out of Clearing.

  1. It is important to have all of your details and information to hand, especially your UCAS ID.
  2. Find a quiet place to make your phone calls and make notes throughout the call.
  3. Research the University and the programme.
    • You are investing 3 years of your time and money, make sure it is the right University for you!
    • Look at the history of the University and the surrounding areas. 
    • Read the student statistics for the programme.
    • Are there good job prospects after you have graduated? 
  4. The clearing staff are here to help you, ask questions! You could ask about:
    • Accommodation.
    • Bursaries.
    • The Student Union.
    • Does the University have student blogs? If so, read them.
  5. Keep organised, but do not panic!
    • Keep an eye on your emails, including your junk mail.
    • Meet the deadlines for accepting any offers.
  6. If you can, come and look at the University. As well as getting the opportunity to look at the University that you will be attending, you may also have the chance to talk to academics and students to get more a feel for the programme. 

I hope that this advice is helpful and I wish you all the best with your University applications!

If you have any questions regarding the clearing process or the University of Greenwich itself then please give the Enquiry Unit a call on: 020 8331 9000, or come and chat with us on LiveChat here: http://www2.gre.ac.uk/clearing

Friday, 10 July 2015

Not now doesn’t mean not ever

Ann
In the Clearing team, our work is about communication and delivery. Every day we are delivering news to applicants; some good news and some not so good news. Unfortunately, we cannot always tell you what you really want to hear. 

For those of you who do not get offered the place that you had wanted so badly, it can be helpful to remember that decisions are rarely a “never” and some applicants, particularly for oversubscribed courses such as Midwifery, can be successful when they apply for the next intake.

Below are some of the things we can do to help you: 

Firstly, we can sometimes look at your qualifications and see that you may be suitable to be considered for an alternative course. We will then ask if you would like to be considered for this.

Remember that if you are offered an alternative course, you will have a limited time to accept the place, so take some time to decide whether it is definitely the right thing for you to do. Three years is a long time to be doing something that your heart is really not in. 

Secondly, we may find you do not hold the correct qualifications at Level 3 to move on to Higher Education. Often, we are able to suggest that to progress to an Undergraduate programme, applicants may wish to consider taking an Access to Higher Education Diploma. This is a one year course and during the year, you can apply for a place at University for the following September once the new UCAS main cycle opens. 

You might decide that you want to wait until next year and work on improving your qualifications, or gaining extra work experience. This is something I did myself, both studying for additional qualifications while working in a relevant sector.

We aim to treat all enquirers fairly and professionally. I am reminded of the poem by W. B Yeates: ‘He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven’ which contains the following lines:

 'I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.’ 

Good luck with your applications.

Ann

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Socially Speaking

Sophi
As you all probably know you can contact us via phone on 0208 331 9000, this is most peoples preferred method of communication with us. Personally being a telephone operator is my favourite job role at the Enquiry Unit as I love the personal interaction with the applicants and being able to ask them lots of questions to make sure that they are getting all the help they need. However you might not like talking to people on the phone, it can be quite a scary and daunting thing to do; especially when making an important phone call. We do have other ways in which you can contact us. 

Chat with us online


We have a live chat service, where you can ask all of your questions to our operators without having to pick up a phone. Don’t worry you won’t be talking to a robot, our chat service is staffed by our enquiry unit assistants who are there to help you with everything from student life questions to clearing applications.

Clink the link below and a chat box will pop up in the corner:
www.gre.ac.uk/study/courses/clearing

Social Media

If you’re on the go or you just have a quick question you can always message us on social media. It’s an easy way to find out some more information about us. See what the students are up to, have a look at what events are taking place.

https://twitter.com/UniofGreenwich
https://twitter.com/sugreenwich
https://www.facebook.com/uniofgreenwich/info?tab=overview
https://uk.pinterest.com/uniofgreenwich/

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Where it all started


Ahmed

Hey guys!!! Whats up? So as we have entered July we have entered Clearing!!!

Clearing has begun and I have already made my first offer and taken several applications in the past week, so you should apply as soon as possible, if you are thinking of applying. Clearing can really be daunting process for some, however, I have few tips that can actually help you successfully negotiate clearing.

Tip 1:

Prepare in advance; when applying for a programme through clearing, and it is the first time you are looking to apply for that programme, look into the career paths and what it can provide for you.

Tip 2:

Register with UCAS before applying for clearing, and check that you have been entered in to clearing.
You need to register with UCAS beforehand, as we will have to have a look at your UCAS profile before we can make a clearing application for you. You must also be in clearing, so you can’t make a clearing application if you are holding an offer. You will need to get yourself released. If, on results day, you don’t meet you conditions with your Firm or Insurance, you will be automatically placed into clearing.

Tip 3:

Don’t just pick a course at random. We understand it’s can be difficult if you don’t get your first choice and that all you want to do is get into university. But you’ll be paying about £9,000 a year, without having chosen the course you love (NOT A GOOD IDEA)! Look around for alternatives, like a foundation degree or extended programme, in the subject that interests you.

 
That’s it for now, but any questions remember to use our LiveChat services or you can email into us at clearing@gre.ac.uk or call in on 020 8331 9000 and we will gladly help you out.

Monday, 6 July 2015

The Vacancies are Open!



Stacey
Hello everyone! As you may have read by now, Clearing has officially started! It’s quite exciting actually, as I’ve already had tons of calls about people wanting to join us in September! And to be honest, I don’t blame them as I think we have so much to offer! (As you’ve probably already read over on my own blog gre-stacey.blogspot.com).
Now, about Clearing. We are open 9-5, Mon-Friday so if you have any sort of query please feel free to give us a call on 020 8331 9000 or you can always open a chat over on our website (www.gre.ac.uk) and have a online talk with one of my colleagues.
As for applying for Clearing, you must remember that you must have an application ready on UCAS for us to get the process started (and remember to pay UCAS’ fee, as sometimes this is the reason why we cannot get onto your application), and you cannot be holding any other offers from other universities. It’s fairly straightforward but if you do have any queries don’t be scared to give us a call!
We still have plenty of courses which are still open, so if you’re thinking about applying for university through clearing, there’s no better time like the present!!
University itself is an absolutely amazing experience and I would recommend the University of Greenwich to anyone and everyone. Not only are the students friendly but the lecturers are extremely helpful too. There are tons of sports teams and societies you could join, you can view our Student Union website here: http://www.suug.co.uk/ - all the activities for Freshers ’15 are already available online as well.
Today, clearing vacancies are officially published so keep an eye out for any course you are interested in!
And a huge good luck to those who are receiving their IB results today!!!
We look forward to hearing from you!
Stacey x