BU media success over Clearing 2014

Staff and students from Bournemouth University gave advice and information in a variety of media appearances around Clearing.

BU was featured by several national newspapers, including mentions in:

  • The Guardian newspaper and online five times.
  • The Telegraph newspaper and online five times.
  • The i newspaper four times.
  • The Independent

Interviews with BU’s Head of Admissions Karen Pichlmann – who gave top tips and advice for anyone going through Clearing – were also featured on several regional radio stations.

David Stock, SUBU Advice manager, was interviewed in The Telegraph’s article ‘Strike a healthy bank balance’. He advised parents on how to help their children with their finances..

He said: “It’s best to set the foundations from a young age by getting them used to bank cards and budgets. Once they’re at university, they won’t have anyone nagging them to stick to their weekly budget, so instilling a good attitude beforehand is vital.”

Nicola Murray-Fagan, Head of UK Student Recruitment & Outreach, was quoted throughout The i’s article about how students should prepare for results day.

She advised: “Take the time to research your options and speak to your school or college careers adviser for advice on courses that will still keep you on the same career path.”

askBU’s Helen Elsey and UK Recuitment Manager Matthew Usher gave advice in The Guardian and The Telegraph on what students should say while making Clearing phone calls, while BU students and alumni shared their experiences of the Clearing and Adjustment process.

BU student Alex Curwen-Reed was quoted in The i, giving her tips on the Clearing process.

She spoke about how helpful the askBU team was during her Clearing process and said: “Don’t feel embarrassed about having to come through Clearing. I’m getting better grades than some of the people who got accepted in the first place, so don’t doubt yourself!”

Other articles featuring BU focused on applying for postgraduate courses, with advice from Framework Leader for Postgraduate Accounting, Finance and Economics Dermot McCarthy, and making the most of placement opportunities.

Placement Development Adviser Felicity Robinson said in The Guardian’s article: “I’d advise students to do their own objective setting, so they’re not saying ‘help, give me something to do,’ but being more collaborative in the process.”

By Harriet Gilbraith

Harriet is a student at Budmouth College in Weymouth, who is working at Bournemouth University in the Press and PR Department. She joined BU on a Sir Samuel Mico Scholarship, which provides 10 students from the college with work experience for four weeks over the summer.



Get clear on Clearing: Advice from Bournemouth University

Bournemouth University (BU) will be on hand to support and guide students whose A Level results are not what they expect.

Trained advisers will be available at BU from 8am on results day (Thursday 14 August) to talk students through the Clearing and Adjustment process, and help them pick the right course for them.

Clearing is the last point in the UCAS admissions cycle and offers students who have been unable to secure their first or second choice course, or haven’t yet applied for university, the chance to find a course that starts in September.

Karen Pichlmann, Head of Admissions at BU, advised people to prepare in advance of exam results – thinking about what universities and courses they might like to approach if they find themselves in Clearing.

“Choosing a place through Clearing is no different to choosing a place through choosing a university place full stop, only it takes place over a shorter period of time – so preparing your Plan B and thinking about who you want to go to is key,” she said.

“At Bournemouth University we’re here to support the students through that process.

“We’ll have a large team of trained and helpful staff to take calls from potential students.

“We’ll discuss with their exam results, what opportunities we have and potentially give them an offer – so there’s plenty of people to help and support and encourage students through that process.”

Karen added that, when going through Clearing, potential students should not rely on parents to make the calls on their behalf and should be prepared for a mini-interview on the phone.

“Once they know they are in the Clearing process, my top tip would be to get on the phone early to talk to the universities, because some will only have a small number of places and they can go really quickly,” she said.

Be prepared for a mini-interview – so think about why you want to do that course, what interested you about that institution and what you think you’re a good match.”

She added: “We really do need to speak to the student in this and while it might be difficult for them to make that phone call, we really do need to talk to them and not their parents.”

Students who exceed the conditions of their original offer can choose to study on a course with higher entry requirements, through a process called Adjustment.

Karen explains: “If students find that they receive better results than expected, and they are still happy with their firm choice, they don’t have to do anything more than go and celebrate.

“However, if those results mean that they are now qualified for something they never thought they could achieve, there’s the UCAS Adjustment process which enables students who have exceeded the conditions of their firm choice to discuss with other universities the option to go and study there.”

Clearing and Adjustment toolkits, which explain the process and what to do if you find yourself going through it, are available to download from the BU website.

A BU Clearing helpline will be available from 8am until 8pm on results day, 8am until 6pm on Friday 15 August and from 9.30am to 4pm over the weekend.

We will have trained advisers there ready to discuss opportunities and to help people through the process,” said Karen.

“We do understand that it can be very stressful and we’d really like to help students make the right decision for them.”

To find out more about Clearing and the opportunities available at BU, visit www.bournemouth.ac.uk/clearing or call 01202 966777 from 8am on Thursday 14 August.

BU features in The Guardian’s Guide to Clearing 2014

Staff and students from Bournemouth University gave their advice on the Clearing process for several articles in The Guardian’s Guide to Clearing 2014.

The guide is used by students across the country to help them prepare to receive their A-level results, and explains the process of Clearing.

An article on Clearing phone calls quoted askBU’s Helen Elsey, who advised students on the importance of keeping calm when talking to admissions tutors.

She said: “Don’t panic! Stay calm – the people on the other end of the phone want to help you, not catch you out.”

She also warned students against blindly accepting their first offer. “Think it through. This is a big decision – and you can contact as many universities as you like.”

Kyle McClellan, a first year economics and finance student at BU, was interviewed on his experience of Adjustment.

He spoke about choosing and applying to BU after receiving better grades than expected, saying: “I explained what grades I’d got and the course I was interested in doing and they said there was room for me. It’s worked out really well.”

In an article explaining the importance of Open Days, BU marketing and communications officer Sarah Jane Knox said: “Open Days give you the opportunity to look around the campus and facilities and make sure the course you have chosen is right for you.”

“Open Days are your best chance to chat to lecturers and students and get a real feel for what the courses are like – so make sure you don’t leave and then realise you’ve got lots of unanswered questions.”

The article also detailed the importance of visiting the town and areas around the campus when visiting a university.

BU was noted for offering free bus tours of Bournemouth, and Sarah said that even going for a wander round and having a meal “gives you a good feel for the place where you could be spending the next three years of your life.”

The supplement appeared in The Guardian’s 9 August 2014 edition, with many of the articles available on The Guardian’s online Clearing pages.

By Harriet Gilbraith

Harriet is a student at Budmouth College in Weymouth, who is working at Bournemouth University in the Press and PR Department. She joined BU on a Sir Samuel Mico Scholarship, which provides 10 students from the college with work experience for four weeks over the summer.

BU Makes Clearing Clearer


If you are one of the thousands of students nervously waiting to receive your A-level results tomorrow, we wish you the best of luck.

If your results aren’t what you expected – or you haven’t applied for uni but decide that you want to attend in September after all – then it’s important to remember there are still options available.

Bournemouth University will have a team of expert advisers on hand to talk you through what to do next.


Clearing is the point in the admissions cycle where students can apply for a course which still has vacancies for September 2013.

To find out which courses still have places available at Bournemouth University, you can visit our Clearing web pages, download our toolkit or speak to an adviser on our Clearing helpdesk – 01202 966777 – which is open from 8am until 8pm on results day, 8am until 6pm on Friday 16 August and from 10am to 4pm over the weekend.

“Don’t panic and make a hasty decision,” advises Karen Pichlmann, Head of Admissions at BU.

“You will be studying for your degree for at least the next three years, so make sure the university and course are right for you.”

This includes asking questions about important things like course content, placement opportunities and how degrees are assessed.

When you call the university, you will be asked questions about why you want to do that the course, so make a few notes before you ring.

Karen adds: “It’s a really big decision, so make sure you do your research before calling a Clearing hotline.

“Check UCAS, university websites and newspaper supplements to see what courses are available, and then look into them in more detail – universities and courses you may have initially disregarded because their entry requirements were too high may be more flexible at this time of the year.”

It’s also important that you call for yourself, and don’t get parents or teachers to do it for you, as universities can only make offers to prospective students themselves. Have your UCAS number, GCSE results and A Level/BTEC results to hand when you call as you will be asked for this information.

BU Events and Leisure Marketing student Emma Craig found her course through Clearing after missing out on her firm and conditional choices by 20 UCAS points.

Emma, who is about to enter her final year, said: “Anyone who finds themselves in Clearing should go into it with an open mind.

“Initially, I thought I wanted to do sports management, but when the person on the phone told me about this course, it was perfect. Now I want to work in events and my dream job would be running festivals in Australia.

“Clearing was a second chance really – I mucked up in my exams at college, but now I’m on course for a 2.1 in a degree I love, and getting better grades than people who did well in their A Levels.”


If you exceed the conditions of your first choice university offer, you can choose to reconsider what and where you want to study through a UCAS process called Adjustment.

Your original uni place will be held for you (for a limited period) while you find out about other options.

If you are eligible for Adjustment, you can find out more about options available at BU by visiting the Adjustment pages on our website, downloading our Adjustment toolkit or by calling the helpdesk on 01202 966777.

BU also has an unlimited number of Academic Excellence Scholarships available for students who have achieved ABB or above at A-Level, or equivalent – worth up to £2,000.

Open Days

A lot of universities hold post-Clearing open days, so see if you can visit them and get a feel for the place.

We have Open Days on Friday 16 August and Saturday 17 August, running between 11am and 3pm, where you can tour the campus, find out more about life at BU and see some of our accommodation.

There are also Campus Tours running on Wednesday 21 August, and you are welcome to visit and do a self-guided tour during working hours any day – just pick up a guide from reception or download one from our website.

Find out more and register for upcoming Open Days

If you have any questions about your place at BU or the Clearing process, please call the helpdesk on 01202 966777