July 1, 2016, by International students
“They said they could offer me a place, and the rest is history”
Every year lots of students go through UCAS Clearing to find their perfect course, for a variety of different reasons – even students who have achieved excellent grades. Shiv Nanda, an Indian student living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), who studies BEng Chemical Engineering at The University of Nottingham, shares his story.
Which course had you originally applied for?
I had originally applied for Chemical engineering MEng with industrial experience- which is a specialized 4 year course and therefore it had higher grade requirements than the regular Chemical Engineering degree course.
Which course are you now studying?
I am now studying Chemical Engineering BEng at the University of Nottingham.
What happened when you received your results? How did you feel?
I had taken Physics and Chemistry through CIE and Math through Edexcel. I was happy about Physics because I got an A- which was on par with what I predicted in my mind, but not so in Chemistry in which I got a B .This was below my expectations and so I was not feeling too good and I was worried about my upcoming Math grade. 2 days later my Math grade was declared and I was overjoyed that I had gotten an A*.
Now with my A*AB I was expecting to clinch my firm offer.
But when UCAS updated, I had been rejected by both my Firm choice (requirement A*AA) as well as my Insurance (whose requirement was AA for Math and Chemistry).
I was devastated and feeling completely low after that because of just 1 Chemistry B I wasn’t able to reach any of my offers.
What were your next steps?
My parents didn’t want me to continue to feel sorry for what could have been, so they immediately started looking for the next potential good universities that had places available through Clearing. I first confirmed that I still wanted to continue with Chemical Engineering for my undergraduate degree. Then we used the UCAS search tool to find places in clearing at good universities.
The first good university that immediately popped out at us was Nottingham. After a little research on The University of Nottingham, I gave them a call and asked them if they could give me a place with my grades. There were other universities that had offered me places and scholarships as well but I could not resist Nottingham’s world class reputation and outstanding graduate employability. They said they could offer me a place and the rest is history.
Who helped you?
My parents were my biggest support throughout the whole process. They had had the experience of going through UCAS and clearing for my sister’s Admission and so they knew immediately what to do after my UCAS updated. My friends also helped in giving an outside opinion on all the universities we looked at for clearing. They helped me a lot in picking the best university objectively. The International office at the University of Nottingham was very efficient and helpful in assisting me while applying and providing the CAS letter swiftly for my visa application.
How long did it take to secure a place?
Not long after I made the first call to The University of Nottingham. I put Nottingham as my clearing option on the same day after receiving their offer through email. Then 3 days later I was officially accepted.
Were you able to get accommodation?
Yes it was easy for me to apply for accommodation and there were still options for me in spite of me applying only after clearing as the University has plenty of accommodation for 1st year students.
Was it difficult to sort your visa out in time for the start of the course?
No not really. The International Office at The University of Nottingham was really helpful and provided my CAS letter swiftly therefore I was able to apply for my visa online with no problems. I was able to get my visa a full 2 and half weeks before my flight to England.
Did you arrive on time?
Yes I was able to arrive on time for the international student Welcome Programme which was very helpful for me to settle in.
How do you feel now, 1 year into your course?
After 1 year into my chemical engineering degree, I am really happy I chose Nottingham. The Engineering department is world class. For example, they introduced the Fundamentals of Engineering Design such as the designing of a chemical processing plant in the first semester itself. I quite like Nottingham itself as a place, not too big and not too small, just right. The numerous activities you can do, from societies to the nightlife, make it almost never boring in Nottingham. There are also plenty of places to go in the UK because of Nottingham’s very central location.
What are your tips for finding a course in Clearing?
- Search early! UCAS displays courses from 1st July, but many universities will let you know details beforehand
- Always be prepared just in case. Have a list of Universities that you would call if you don’t get your top 2 choices even if you are confident of your grades.
- Clearing happens every year and thousands of students secure places they are happy with.
- Act quickly after you receive your results as clearing places go quickly.
It’s not too late to secure a place for 2016 entry. Limited places are still available for suitably qualified international students on many courses at The University of Nottingham, Britain’s global university. Visit our website to find out more.