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Dr Bhavik Patel

Think of Clearing as a ‘gateway of opportunity’

Ahead of A Level results day, the University of Brighton’s Professor Bhavik Patel – a former clearing student himself – says the process offers a chance to self-evaluate and choose a different direction.

Students in England will find out their A Level results this Thursday (13 August), and although clearing is often looked at as an option for those who haven’t received the grades they were expecting, it is also an opportunity to switch universities if there are places available. Speaking to the University of Brighton’s clearing podcast, an episode offering comprehensive advice to students on how to apply and handle the emotions of results day, Bhavik Patel, Professor of Clinical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, said the UCAS clearing window (which opened on 6 July and closes on 20 October) should not be looked as a negative.

He said: “We all have a trajectory, plan and idea of where we’d like to go – but life throws up lots of different things and we’re going through one right now (the coronavirus pandemic). It’s an opportunity, even if you have a firm offer, to self-reflect and think ‘what else is out there for me?’. Maybe it’s a chance to try a different subject area.

“When I’m picking up the phone calls, you hear lots of stories of people saying ‘well, I’ve applied for this but actually I’m really interested in this’. That’s the beauty of clearing. It’s a gateway of opportunity and we should celebrate it.”

Rewind just over 20 years, and Professor Patel found himself in the same situation, when the grades he received on A Level results day were not quite what he expected. He ended up contacting the University of Brighton, where he’s spent the majority of his career as a student and academic.

Professor Patel said: “I was just totally lost. I think it was my brother who actually called in to the university because he knew I enjoyed the experience when I visited Brighton – the facilities, the environment.

“I ended up talking to a very, very nice course leader who was very understanding, really talked me through the process and told me this was a great way to have an opportunity to get on to a course and study something which would shape my career.

“It certainly changed my direction of where I’d go in my career and significantly for the better”.

Our call centre will be open this week on Thursday and Friday from 8am-6pm and this Saturday from 9am-3pm, before reverting back to 10am-4pm. Find out more about clearing at the University of Brighton and what it will be like to study at Brighton this autumn


Laura Ruby • August 11, 2020

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