That's the view of students last year who found the care and advice we provide and the wide range of courses on offer met their every need. Their opinions were obtained this year during comprehensive independent research on the 'Clearing experience' of students who chose the University of Brighton.
The study, confirmed that Clearing is recognised by more and more students as a great opportunity to get to their choice of university and not as a last resort. The research was conducted on behalf of the university by the market research agency CurvedThinking. It showed that during Clearing at Brighton in 2013:
- Many students chose to make their first application to university only after they knew their results.
- Half the students who applied to Brighton during Clearing had experienced a change of heart or change in circumstances and viewed Clearing as the best way to make a fresh start and to find the course that suited them better.
- Students' experiences of the service provided at Brighton were extremely positive – applicants felt their very individual reasons for approaching us during Clearing were understood by staff, and they felt supported through the process itself and beyond.
- When our Clearing students were interviewed in the Spring of this year, several months after they had embarked on their courses, the feedback about the decision to come here was also very positive.
One said: "The tutor was incredibly friendly and approachable. She was in contact with me throughout the whole process via email and phone calls, telling me what I needed to do next and how to go about it. Having such a helpful and approachable person always available to talk to, giving me guidance throughout Clearing, made the whole process a lot easier. This made me realise that Brighton was the right university for me."
Other students had changed their minds before settling on Brighton. One said: "My insurance (choice) had a similar course but I thought 'why am I doing this – I've had enough of this subject. So I changed completely and started looking for completely different sorts of courses that I thought I would enjoy most."
Another said: "I got the results needed to get into my first choice but between applying and receiving results I had changed my preferences so I decided to change university and my course completely."
More than 90 per cent of students said they were happy with their decision to come to Brighton.
Professor Julian Crampton, the university's Vice-Chancellor, said: "Looking back, the vast majority of students who participated in the research reported they were happy with the decision they had made to come to the University of Brighton, even if this was not the situation they would have chosen at the time.
"The university was judged by the majority to have performed very strongly during Clearing in tone and content of communications with applicants, and there is strong evidence that some amongst them chose to accept an offer at least partly because of the way their enquiry was handled.
"The most significant factors driving the decision-making process were related to course, followed by the overall appeal of the town or city … and a large majority said they were settled and happy they had chosen Brighton."
In the UK more than 100,000 students entered Clearing last year, for a variety of reasons: they may have missed out on their university offer or they received no offer, or they changed their mind about their course choice.
One senior member of the university academic staff came to Brighton himself through Clearing after failing to gain his original grades, and he understands what a great opportunity Clearing can be. Dr Bhavik Patel is senior lecturer in the university’s Senior Lecturer in the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences.
He said: "I didn't get the grades I needed to study pharmacy. My parents gave me the worst rollicking I ever had – 'I can't understand that boy…after all I've done for him!' Thankfully, the course leader at Brighton saw the potential in me and I got a place through Clearing."
Dr Patel recently received a global award for his work – the 2013 GlaxoSmithKline Emerging Scientist Award, which is presented annually to scientists from around the world who have demonstrated significant practical application of knowledge within the pharmaceutical sciences over the last five years.
Professor Crampton said: "Clearing may once have been seen as a last resort but today it is a new beginning and a great opportunity.
"We welcome applications from a diverse range of prospective students. We realise that you might have changed your mind about where you want to study, you may be anticipating better results than expected or you may not have been through the UCAS process but have now decided that you would like to begin your course this year."
Professor Crampton said: "We are committed to offering students as much help as possible and to providing the right expertise and information to ensure they choose the course that suits them best."
Professor Crampton urged students to make the most of the opportunities on offer at the University of Brighton: "You can regard your arrival here as a fresh start and with hard work, there is no limit to what you can achieve.
"We pride ourselves on the work we do to recognise and develop the potential of students from a wide range of social and educational backgrounds. The degree students leave us with – and the future they make for themselves – will be testament to the hard work they have put in during their studies here, and the use they have made of the exceptional professional placement, mentoring, careers advice and networking opportunities we offer."
The University of Brighton has a number of vacancies on a range of courses. To find out whether a course still has places available for 2014 entry, search for it on our course finder or call the university's Clearing hotline: 01273 644000.