GuildHE urges prospective students to "think flexibly" in their search for a course

Prospective students have been advised to think flexibly this year about the type of institution and course they apply to join and the subject they might study.  The higher education representative body GuildHE has urged applicants to seriously consider part-time as well as full-time study to boost their chances of finding a place.

Restrictions imposed by the Government mean there are likely to be fewer places on full-time courses available through Clearing this year. But part-time courses are not subject to the same limitations, and in some cases can be completed as quickly as some full-time courses as well as offering an opportunity to work at the same time.

Information gathered by GuildHE from its member institutions suggests there are still opportunities for prospective students to find the right course for them, especially if they are prepared to look beyond the traditional universities and consider a broad range of study options.

Places at GuildHE institutions are in high demand, but some have been granted additional places allowing them more room to consider each application on its merits.

Professor Ruth Farwell, GuildHE Chair and Vice-Chancellor of Buckinghamshire New University, said: “It appears there may be more places available through Clearing than we first thought thanks to some additional student numbers as well as the recent easing of restrictions in the case of STEM and certain other subjects.

“But our institutions are extremely popular with prospective students and are experiencing significant growth in applications, and we would urge ministers to consider relaxing restrictions across a wider range of subjects to allow us to offer more people the opportunity to enhance their career and life chances through higher education.

“Prospective students themselves can improve their chances of finding the right course by considering part-time as well as full-time study. A part-time foundation degree that allows study in the workplace, for instance, can be completed as quickly as a full-time foundation degree and allows students to earn while they learn as well as boosting their career prospects.”