Wednesday 17 August 2016

Jo Pennell

Thousands of would-be students are expected to call the University of Northampton this week when A-level results are revealed on Thursday.

Last year, the University took more than 3,000 telephone calls and offered in excess of 900 places on its degree courses through the Clearing process – which lets applicants find courses which haven’t been filled for the new academic year.

Applicants may have a variety of reasons for applying for a course via Clearing, including not getting the grades they needed for the courses they had originally applied for, applying late for a course, or if they are a mature student.

A change in personal circumstances forced Jo Pennell to abandon her plans to study at a university 200 miles from her Northampton home – but thanks to Clearing, she was able to follow her passion and study on her doorstep instead.

With excellent grades and offers from four universities in the bag, Jo, pictured, was all set to relocate to another part of the UK with her son.

A bereavement derailed her plans – but instead of putting her dreams of university life on hold, Jo turned to the University of Northampton, liked what she saw, and enrolled on an International Development and Human Geography joint honours course via Clearing in 2015.

“I wasn’t expecting to come through Clearing, because I had received my grades for my access course and done really well – I had offers from four universities and had confirmed my place at one,” said mature student Jo.

“But then my situation changed as there was an unexpected family bereavement – it would have been impossible for me to relocate, find a new place to live, and a new school for my son in time for the new academic year.

“I decided I needed to be close to home so I applied to the University of Northampton via Clearing, and found the process so easy and stress free. I phoned up, told the advisor the course I wanted to do, gave them my grades – at which point they told me to expect a telephone call within half an hour. The call came and the person on the other end of the line said ‘welcome to the University of Northampton’.”

Jo added: “I’ve really enjoyed it here at the University and am really glad things have ended up the way they have. I’ve learned a lot, had fun and have found I have a real passion for the subjects I’ve chosen.”

Hundreds of potential students are expected to visit the University’s Open Day on Saturday (20 August). The day will provide potential applicants with an opportunity to visit the two campuses, meet academics and obtain advice and guidance on a range of issues from module choice, funding and accommodation. To register your attendance, visit the Open Day web page.

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