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Wednesday, 16 August, 2000, 19:59 GMT 20:59 UK
How clearing worked for us
Lisa Ford and her horse
Lisa Ford: Snap decision to go to uni
The University of Lincolnshire and Humberside accepts about a quarter of its annual intake of 3,000 students through the clearing process.

Here are the stories of two of those who went through the system last year.

Case study one: Done badly

During his final year at college, Richard Rees was turned down by every university he applied to because of his poor predicted A-level grades.

Despite a last-ditch effort to boost his performance, he had given up hope of doing a degree and was wondering what to do next.

Richard Rees
Richard Rees: "I owed it to myself"

Results day did not bring good news - a D in design, an E in art and a U in general studies.

But he decided he owed it to himself to try to get into university, and applied through clearing.

Richard, 20, was given verbal offers of places at a number of institutions, but was still not sure whether higher education was for him.

After weighing up his options for about a week, he decided to take up an offer to study museum and exhibition design at ULH's Hull School of Architecture.

This meant he continue living in his Hull family home, which he said would "make things easier" if university didn't work out.

'Definitely worth it'

A year later, Richard has passed his first year, and is looking forward to a career in exhibition design.

"It felt really good to know I was actually going to be a university student. It gave me a real confidence boost - I'd felt pretty much worthless before," he said.

"I've pulled my finger out at university and stuck at it, and I'm enjoying it.

"It's not all been easy. In the first term I still wasn't sure if it was for me, and I've had some personal problems to deal with, but I've kept going.

"I'd tell anyone else that clearing is definitely worth trying."

Case study two: Done well

Lisa Ford had no intention of going to university until she received her A-level results.

She had done better than she had expected, gaining B grades in psychology and sociology, so made a snap decision to find a university place through the clearing system.

The 20-year-old has now completed her first year of a degree in psychology and health studies

Aspirations changed

Before receiving her results she had planned to train to be a solicitor, but now she hopes her degree course will lead to a career in forensic psychology.

"It wasn't until I got my results and found I'd done well that I completely changed my aspirations and decided to study psychology," she said.

"I'd done better than I'd expected and I didn't want to waste that."

Lisa, a keen horsewoman, chose to go to ULH after attending a clearing open day.

She commutes daily to the university's Lincoln campus from her family home in Walkeringham, near Gainsborough.

This means she can continue to care for her horses at home, and compete in trials at weekends.

"At first it was difficult because everyone else was living on campus in halls of residence, but now I wouldn't change it," she said.



How they did:




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