Guest Post: What do you do if you don’t get a place at University?

Today, I have the pleasure to welcome Ross Renton to TheUniversityBlog with a special guest post.

With A-level results announced today (good luck everyone!) and a scramble for places at university, not every candidate will find a place in this academic year.

Ross has put together this great guide on what you can do if you don’t get that place at university this year.  Over to Ross:

It is likely that there will be a large number of well qualified school and college students who just miss out on a place at University.  With fewer clearing places available, many may consider taking a year out and applying for 2011 entry.  Here are my top five tips for school and college students who miss out on a place at University.

photo by ariel.chico

photo by ariel.chico

1.     Stay focused. It is not the end of the world; this year is one of the most competitive to get a place at University.  Sit down and consider all of your options carefully taking advice from tutors and/or parents.
Useful links:  www.connexions-direct.com and  www.inspiringfutures.org.uk

2. Mind the GAP (year). Taking a GAP year volunteering or travelling can be rewarding however ensure you make the most of the year. Universities will not be impressed by you taking a year to brush up on your video gaming skills. Ask your chosen University if they will offer you a place for 2011 entry.
Useful links:  www.vinspired.com, www.vso.org.uk/volunteer and www.gap-year.com

3. Get some experience. Universities and employers both value the benefits of applicants having an understanding of the workplace. Getting a job or an internship for a year may have additional benefits including the opportunity later to combine studying with employment.
Useful links: www.yini.org.uk, www.gapwork.com and www.student-jobs.co.uk

4. Keep learning. If you are unable to get a place due to your grades you may wish to re-sit some of your exams. There are also number of alternative routes into University including Foundation Degrees and Access Courses.  You can also earn whilst you learn through an Apprenticeship.
Useful links:  www.findfoundationdegree.co.uk, www.accesstohe.ac.uk and www.apprenticeships.org.uk

5. Be proactive. If you are determined to go to University you must ensure you get the correct advice. It may well be even more competitive next year to get a place. Be open-minded and look at a wider range of subjects. Contact your chosen University and find out what you need to do to get offered a place in 2011. Speak to your career advisor and/or tutor.
Useful links:  www.connexions-direct.com and www.ucas.com

Ross Renton is head of UK recruitment and access at the University of Hertfordshire. You can find Ross on Twitter: @Ross_Renton.