June 24, 2016, by International students

My last minute journey to a British university through Clearing and Adjustment

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Paula (left) with her friend Wendy at our beautiful University Park Campus

Three years ago at this time I was feeling completely laid back after stressful exams and applications had all ended. That is, until mid-July when Results Day and UCAS rang a bell. My late summer holiday turned more intense as I decided to make use of UCAS Adjustment to change my university choice. Sitting here today as an experienced Clearing applicant and a university finalist, I suggest you to be fully prepared for your results day and have a look at Clearing, Adjustment and all your options in advance.

My original firm application choice was to a university near London. My offer was based on me achieving AAB in A-levels, 6.5 for IELTS and a C in GSCE Maths. Results Day was important to me as it indicated the quality of many years of hard work at school. It would also finally determine which university destination. I remember collecting my results and feeling a sense of joy and relief as my grades met the required conditions. However, having achieved really good grades I thought about considering alternative choices through Adjustment.

I regretted not having applied to The University of Nottingham but as I was eligible for Adjustment, I called the School to make enquiries regarding the course details. The Admissions Officer was very helpful with providing information so that I could compare the course with my original choice. They were happy with my grades and would offer me a place. However, my case was trickier as I needed to wait for an extra week for the GCSE result to fully meet the original conditions.

A week after, when I met all the conditions, I called in again. I was told that there weren’t any places left and they seemed unable to take me in. I wasn’t sure what to do, but I wasn’t going to give up, so I contacted the International Office. They negotiated with the Admissions department and issued me an offer! 5 days of adjustment period was in fact only 2 days for me as 3 days were bank holidays so I had a shorter time to make official application, wait for the firm choice to release me for Nottingham to issue an offer on UCAS.

It was all progressed very quickly and we managed to sort it. Fortunately, with the advice and support from International Office, subsequent processes all went smoothly so I managed to book accommodation and apply for a visa at this late stage. It all proceeded well and I arrived at Nottingham on time to join the International Welcome Programme and met a great bunch of new friends.

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I was a bit skeptical before arrival about whether it was a sensible choice to change university so late. As soon as I settled, I was very sure I’d made the right choice. The teaching is outstanding and there are plenty of opportunities for students. It’s a bittersweet time having just ended university studies. The last three years were fabulous and my university experience was very fruitful.

I’ve learnt so much here and the experience made me realise Clearing and Adjustment is not just a plan B; in fact, there are plenty of amazing choices through this route.

I had a rocky time in the Adjustment process due to poor preparation so I’d advise you to have a look at Clearing early. If possible, avoid starting in the weekend and always have written correspondence for reference. Clearing is a very common way to secure places and I’m really glad I did so. I completely understand the dilemma to change at a late stage and jump to another boat but the journey will always end up incredible!

All the best,


By Paula Chung, an international student from Hong Kong who graduated in July with a BA in International Media and Communications Studies at The University of Nottingham.

Find out about Clearing and adjustment vacancies at The University of Nottingham in 2016.

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