Today was a tense day, it's been a stressful week, the reason was exam results day, not mine but the daughters. Not just hers either but all the 18/19 yr olds who are hoping to go to university, you could hear the parents breathing a sigh of relif in most cases that thier offspring had achieved the results they had hoped for and they would get their places at their chosen universities with no problem.
At the other end of the scale were the parents of those students who hadn't done so well and found themselves without a university place, they have had to enter something called clearing, where the university clearing service try to find those who want them places at other universities, sometimes on a course that needs less qualifications than they were originally hoping for and sometimes on completely different courses. Some students end up in better universities for the subject they want to study and some discover better courses for their interests. It is on a first come first served basis and there will be some students who will fail to get any place at all simply because there are not enough places for everyone.
In the middle are the other students, those that don't quite get what they want to do the course they originally wanted to do and end up with a changed course, changed by the university. You have two choices when you get this kind of offer, accept or decline. It's ok accepting the course offered if it appeals to you, or is at least in the area you want to study. But that's not always the case and then you have to decline and take your chances with clearing.
My daughter got her results today, unfortunately she didn't get the exam she was hoping for. The university changed her course offer after looking at her other qualifications, her school reports and her personal statement, there was enough there to convince the university that she could do a different course. Luckily the new course was just as interesting to her so she has accepted that. She was lucky, originally she was going to do animal science with an equine speciality attatched to it. The new course is in equine studies, still a three year degree course but all horses. It's funny because several months ago she had said to me that she thought she would like to make horses her speciality rather than be confined to a vets and just be with family pets all the time. So come september she is off to Aberystwyth in North Wales as planned.
From my point of view the waiting time between taking the exams and actually getting the result is needlessly long and stressful. My daughter took her exam at the very begining of june, waiting until now for the results means that everything that needs to be done will have to be done in the next couple of weeks. It's a shame that the exams cant be marked as they are taken, from what I understand everyone takes the same exam countrywide at the same time or within a few days, surely once everyone who is going to take it has taken their exam in say french, then they could be marked and released. The waiting hasn't improved since I took my exams 30 years ago.
Although the government made an extra 13,000 places available this year for students to go to university the increase of student wanting to go is up by 60,000. I have heard it estinmated that 100,000 students will have to go through clearing to get a place and that there are 6 students for every place that is still available, so there are going to be some people who will not get a place anywhere. For them they will have to get a job, re sit exams or re take courses and wait until next year to re apply and hope that they get in then.