Clearing 2020: “It gave me a second chance”

Tue 11 August, 2020
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After under-performing in his A Levels, a third year Biochemistry student has shared his experience of Clearing and how it lead to him studying at University of Bedfordshire’s world-class STEM Building.

Given the disruption Covid19 has caused to final year exams, school leavers have been left feeling uncertain of their future, with many relying on predicted grades and worried about reaching the requirements of their first university choice.

It's important for school and college leavers to remember that they have options available to them – and those not achieving the grades needed for their first-choice universities are not alone. According to a study by Universities UK, over 65,000 students secured places at universities through the UK-wide Clearing process last year.

I saw Clearing as a second chance and an opportunity that should not be taken for granted.

A current student who joined Bedfordshire through Clearing in 2018 has told of his experience, to help encourage prospective students to view Clearing as an opportunity.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Brett Weller. I am 20 years old and am about to start my third year in BSc Biochemistry at the University of Bedfordshire.

STEM Building

Why did you decide to go through Clearing?

A-levels proved to be a difficult time for me and, after performing poorly on my A-levels, I failed to meet the offers set by my chosen universities. As I was adamant on pursuing academia, I decided to apply through Clearing.

The idea of applying through Bedfordshire’s Clearing process came about due to the frequent visits my school had had from the University, in which they explained that students always had a choice, even if they may have not achieved the grades they were hoping for. As such, after receiving my grades, it was only natural for me to contact them.

How did you feel on the day of Clearing?

Once I had opened my results letter, I did feel slightly disappointed, but without hesitation I called the University’s Clearing service straight away. Not long afterwards I found myself accepted within a position at Beds – it all happened very quickly.

I do remember it being an anxious period for me, however this was alleviated when I got a call from one of the course’s lecturers. Professor Sreenivasaprasad had seen that I had recently gained a position within the School of Life Sciences and so offered to show me around the Luton campus, during which we discussed the University’s core values and my personal goals in pursuing my chosen course. The conversation proved not only informative, but welcoming, and eased my stress.

Are you happy with your choice to come to Beds through Clearing?

Throughout my time at Bedfordshire, I have already grown significantly as an individual and am happy with who I have become. My past failures motivated me and the University had many opportunities and resources that allowed me to gain the confidence and knowledge that I possess today. If I was to turn back time, I wouldn’t change my decision.

What advice do you have for students entering Clearing this year?

My advice is to take this opportunity and make the most of it, which is easier said than done, but you only go to university once. For me, I saw Clearing as a second chance, and although I am unaware of the circumstances in which others have applied, I still feel that Clearing is an opportunity that should not be taken for granted.


The University of Bedfordshire’s Clearing campaign kicks off on Thursday 13th August 2020, with phone lines open and live web chat available from 7am. The dedicated support team will be on hand to discuss course options, funding, accommodation and queries about ‘blended’ learning and student life.

Call the Clearing team on 0300 3300 703. Further information can be found online: www.beds.ac.uk/clearing

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