University gears up for bumper registrations as recession bites

Staffordshire University is gearing up for a bumper crop of applications when A Level results are published this week.

The university is anticipating a massive surge in applications for its wide range of courses as people clamour for places in the wake of the continuing recession and limited availability of places.

University bosses believe demand for places at the University’s Stoke and Stafford campuses will outstrip the number of places available and is bracing itself for high call volumes to its helpline and visitors to special open events.
This year, 30 per cent more staff have been drafted in to handle calls from applicants eager to continue their educational journey, and special drop-in centres are being set up on campus and across the county to help potential students.

Education experts predict there will be approximately 26,000 to 28,000 places available in clearing this year – approximately 50% fewer than last year – making competition for places fierce right across the country. But Staffordshire University is among those institutions which is taking advantage of the government offer of additional places.

Explains Head of Student Recruitment at Staffordshire University, Linda Burgess: “We appreciate that this is an anxious time for students and we want to help them as much as possible to make the right decision and plan for their future.

“We are ploughing significant extra resource into our student operations for the two weeks following A Levels results day and we have over 80 staff involved in our clearing operations.  We will be monitoring the situation on a daily basis to ensure we can react quickly and efficiently to demand.

“We would urge students to contact us as soon as possible, but we do ask that students bear with us and expect some waiting time when they call the helpline or visit our drop-in centres.” 

Staffordshire University has already received almost 9 per cent more applications this year, but does still have vacancies on a range of courses including Business, Accounting, Events Management, Geography, Environment and Sustainability, Psychology, Biological and Forensic Sciences, Law, Computing, Engineering and Technology, Humanities, Media, Arts and Design and Sport. It also offers a number of different entry levels from HNDs and level zero to fast track degrees which applicants can study in two years.

In addition this is the first year that students who have performed better than expected in their exams are able to seek a place at a different university.

Adds Linda: “How this will affect the University’s clearing operation is an unknown quantity, but we will be aiming to offer a place to those who wish to study with us.” 

How Staffordshire University can help

Anyone wishing to study at Staffordshire University this year, can call its dedicated clearing service which will be operational from 8.30am to 7pm on August 20 and 21 and will remain open for business daily, including weekends and Bank Holidays, until Friday September 4.

Anyone with concerns or queries about their grades and their University application is being urged to telephone the clearing hotline - 0800 590 830 - where trained operators will do their utmost to help.

Would-be students and their families are also invited to visit the University’s main Stoke and Stafford campuses to talk in person to subject tutors and learn more about the innovative courses on offer.

Advisers will be available at the University’s Clearing Centre, College Road, Stoke or at the Beaconside campus, Stafford. The University will also be hosting Open Days on Saturday August 22 and Thursday August 27 from 10am – 4pm at both Stoke and Stafford.

In addition, on August 20 university representatives will be at mobile clearing clinics at Cannock Chase High School, City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College, Leek College, Newcastle College, New College Telford, Sir John Deane's College, Solihull Sixth Form College, Stoke–on-Trent Sixth Form Centre and Stafford College

Students can also visit, click on the course-specific links from the UCAS website.

People interested in part-time study are invited to attend a Corporate Open Day at Stafford and Stoke campus on August 22 or a dedicated part-time Open Evening taking place in the Activity Space, College Road, Stoke on Thursday September 3, from 5pm to 8pm.



Maria Scrivens
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