Assessing applications

We know students can feel overwhelmed with the prospect of starting an application to university. In this blog we will highlight the key areas that the University of Exeter focuses on when assessing applications.

We take a number of factors into account when assessing an application. This information is correct at point of publishing (23/09/2020). Current policies can be found on our website at: https://www.exeter.ac.uk/undergraduate/applying/assess/

How do we assess an application?

In considering an application, we consider:

  • Achieved academic performance in level 2 and 3 qualifications (GCSEs, A Levels, and their equivalents)
  • Predicted performance in future examinations
  • Personal statement
  • Reference
  • Any additional statement supplied by a school or college regarding any special personal or extenuating circumstances which may impact, or have impacted on an applicant’s studies.

We may also take into account the educational context in which your academic achievements have been gained.  For further information please see the section on School Performance in our Admissions Policy.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for applicants who:

  • Are suited to the course
  • Have the qualifications and qualities to succeed on the programme
  • Are ambitious, conscientious & hardworking
  • Are able to work under pressure
  • Can adjust to the new university environment
  • Show dedication to the course & have researched it
  • Have a genuine interest in the subject
  • AND a desire to learn more…

Do we interview?

The majority of our courses do not require applicants to attend an interview. A key exception to this at the University of Exeter is Medicine, where we invite applicants to Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs). Your students can find out about the Medicine interview process in the video below:

 

 

Digital Outreach

Students in schools and colleges require access to information in order to make informed decisions about their educational pathways. Normally, these sources of information have taken the form of in person information fairs in schools/colleges or large UCAS exhibitions alongside in-school/college careers guidance where available. These have complimented on-campus visits, open-days and other opportunities. The current pandemic has altered our world and provided limited opportunities to engage with prospective students in this way. Universities and other guidance providers have developed a multitude of distinct digital offerings over the last few months in an attempt to fill this void and support students. The use of TEAMS and Zoom are now common place amongst our outreach team although it is acknowledged that it is difficult to replicate the on campus experience through a digital lens. There are however some very valuable lessons learnt over the last few months which enable us to reflect on good practise whilst considering our output over the coming year;

  • Is there a need to increase our carbon footprint, frequently travelling several hundred miles each week when these may be replicated through digital means?
  • Is there a difference in the way key messages are received by the audience, either in person or through digital platforms when our target audience are so accustomed to digital engagement?
  • What are the implications, with the reduction of travel and the move to digital engagement, on our team’s welfare and well-being?

Digital engagement does not necessarily need to wholly eradicate in-person exchanges – this does not need to be an either/or scenario. The last few months have demonstrated that there is a place for the roll out of digital output that permits the user to access content at a time and place that is suitable for them and those who support them. In addition to the many bespoke in-school sessions, my team have created fantastic resources aimed at different audiences;

www.exeter.ac.uk/teachers – Our Teachers and Advisers website contains a wide selection of resources and activities available to teachers/advisers to download and share with your students.

www.facebook.com/DiscoverUniExe – Students, parents & guardians can keep up to date with all our activities and events via our Discover Uni facebook page.

@DiscoverUniExe – a Twitter handle aimed specifically at teachers and advisers providing all the latest information about our activities.

https://www.exeter.ac.uk/teachers/activities/booking/login/ – Log in a request for outreach delivery via our dedicated School Booking system.

The forthcoming academic year is likely to see the team deliver a blended approach to outreach combining lessons learnt through our digital output thus far alongside our excellent opportunities to engage with our campuses when circumstances allow. Please do have a look at the above resources and engage with us through our different platforms. Where we can, we will help.

Dr Karl Devincenzi

Schools Relationship Manager

Results days in August 2020

For University applicants and admissions, it has been a fortnight like no other. We hope you and your students are all keeping well and have seen our posts on policies as they arise on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. We wanted to shine a light on a recent discussion led by our Assistant Director of Student Access, Recruitment and Admissions – Dr Katherine Lloyd Clark.

Katherine and Karl filmed an In Conversation special in response to the OfQual announcement concerning Centre Assessed Grades, and spoke through the implications for current applicants to the University of Exeter. Watch the video below.

 

 

A Level results day

If your students are due to receive results tomorrow, we hope the day goes as smoothly as possible for you all. The University of Exeter remains committed to ensuring as many students as possible progress onto Higher Education and we’ll be on hand tomorrow to help in any way we can.

The best way to contact our admissions team is through the live chat function on our website. It’s available from 08:00-20:00 tomorrow https://www.exeter.ac.uk/clearing/contactus/

Confirmation of results
If your students hold an offer for the University of Exeter they have the option of using the live chat or contacting the admissions team via our phone line: 0300 555 6060 (UK callers)
Please note – this phone line is reserved for offer holders and teachers/advisers only.

Clearing
Each Clearing Vacancy published on our clearing webpage has an ‘apply’ button which links through to an online form: https://vacancies.exeter.ac.uk/clearing/
By completing the form, applicants will be considered for a place faster than by any other means of enquiry.

Clearing tips

We know how important it is for your students to feel prepared and well-equipped in the run up to A Level results day. A really key part of this is getting to grips with the Clearing Process.

We’ve gathered together some advice and guidance to help your students navigate Clearing, in the videos below.

Connecting over the summer

If your students have received a Clearing Offer or are preparing their options for results day, there are a number of ways for them to virtually visit our campuses and find out more about life and study at our campuses.

  • Take a virtual campus tour

Though current events mean we can’t welcome your students onto our campuses in person, we do have a series of campus tours available: Visit Streatham, Visit Penryn or Visit St Lukes in the videos below.

  • Chat to a current student

Students interested in courses at our Exeter-based campuses (Streatham and St Lukes) can chat to current students via our dedicated Unibuddy page. We have a huge range of courses supported on the platform, so it’s very likely they will be able to connect with someone from their discipline or college.

Students interested in courses at our Cornwall campus (Penryn) can email where the team will put them in touch with a current student ambassador.

  • Visit our Online Open Day platform

Our dedicated Online Open Day platform is open throughout July and August. The platform showcases content which explores accommodation, student life, subject specific information and more. Your students can access the platform here.
More useful links:
Hear from our students about their experiences of Clearing: www.exeter.ac.uk/clearing/studentstories/
Clearing vacancies for Home/EU students: https://vacancies.exeter.ac.uk/clearing/home/
Clearing vacancies for International students: https://vacancies.exeter.ac.uk/clearing/international/

Reduced offers

At the University of Exeter, we value the skills and experience that students derive from undertaking an EPQ/studying Core Maths. We will therefore take a student’s EPQ and/or Core Maths grade into account when making an offer.

If a student holds a Grade A in EPQ or Core Maths (or both), we may make a reduced offer of one grade for most of our programmes.

For example: BA History, Streatham
Typical Offer: AAA
Reduced offer (with EPQ or Core Maths Grade A): AAB

If your students have any questions about how their offer for the University of Exeter might alter in light of an EPQ/Core Maths grade, they can contact our admissions team here:

WebEnquire online
Phone: 0300 555 60 60 (UK callers)*
+44 (0)1392 723044 (EU/International callers)

* Calling us on an 0300 number will cost you the same as a call to a standard landline number starting with 01 and 02.

Free and accessible resources for your students over the summer

Though current challenges mean face-to-face interaction with universities is limited, there’s never been a better opportunity for students to engage with us online. We want to reassure you we will be here throughout the summer for both students and yourselves.

 

Students

There are plenty of opportunities for students to engage with current staff and students online. There are opportunities to ask questions about life and study at University, as well as support with personal statements, applications and more.

Students have three options they can either talk to:

  1. Current students using Unibuddy
  2. Academics at our live Unibuddy events
  3. University Outreach Staff and current students on Our Discover University Facebook Page

Unibuddy is a free online chat service which connects prospective students with university ambassadors.   It gives your students real-time access to people at our university, so they can chat about the things it doesn’t say in the brochure. This can replicate the conversations they may have had when attending a physical Open day or UCAS Exhibition about a subject they are interested in or student life.  There is no limit for how many conversations or questions students can ask so it is a worthwhile resource to be accessed year round for all ages of students.  Many universities have this resource which helps students make an informed decision alongside their research from University websites.

The academic live chat schedule can be accessed here.

University of Exeter Discover University is a collection of online activities and resources designed to support students, parent/guardians, teachers and advisers through various digital platforms. Examples of events include online subject conferences, live streamed advice and guidance workshops and a live lecture series.

 

Teachers/HE Advisors

It is time for a well-deserved rest, when looking ahead to the next year please visit our new website for teachers/HE Advisors which has useful free resources to support you and your students.

An example of this are our short animated videos on crucial topics such Personal Statements and Wellbeing.  Feel free to circulate these to your students as an accessible introduction to the topics.

http://www.exeter.ac.uk/teachers/informationandresources

We also have short interactive factsheets on topics from lectures, labs and budgeting to help prepare year 13 for University which can be downloaded as PDFs.  These can then be accessed offline in the students own time and worked through at their leisure.

As a Teacher/HE Advisor please feel free to email us at to talk to the Outreach Officer in your region to discuss how we can support your school/college.

 

Finally

Our ‘In Conversation’ series aims to provide useful insights of topical higher education issues from a University perspective. The sessions are delivered by Dr Karl Devincenzi, School Relationship Manager, who is joined by key members of staff from our university community. Each session delves into different topics and aims to provide information and guidance for prospective students.

In this episode, Katherine and Karl explore the implications of student number caps for this year’s application cycle, the implications of Covid-19 for students starting in September and how opportunities such as study abroad and industrial placements may be affected.

https://youtu.be/4F8RIfI2tMM

Top tips for Clearing

With clearing for 2020 entry opening on 6 July, here are some top tips for students;

 

Do your research

When you become eligible to apply for a University place in Clearing, you might have to contact lots of universities on the same day and make decisions quickly. It’s normal for this to be daunting, but going into the process equipped with knowledge will help make it as stress free as possible.

Understand what Clearing is and how it works.

Research universities and courses you might be interested in.

 

Get ready

You might have to wait until you get your results to be eligible for Clearing, but you can gather all the information you’ll need on the day in advance. When you’ve identified some universities and colleges you are interested in, keep checking their websites for Clearing information. Vacancies may be listed from 6 July onwards.

 

Write down a list of course options (including UCAS codes) and find out how you should be contacting providers, i.e. phone, completing online Clearing forms, webchat etc. – you don’t want to be panicking to find information on the day.

Get all the correct documentation together including your UCAS Personal ID.

Prepare copies of academic results and any other tests such as English Language so that you have these ready to send.

Check who will be available to help you at your school or college and at home; universities will only be able to give general information to teachers, advisers and parents unless they are your nominated UCAS contact so check who this is.

 

Talk to universities

Whilst we are in this time of uncertainty universities still very much want to help you to decide if we are the right university for you. Here at the University of Exeter you will have the opportunity to explore your subject of interest, as well as chat to our central and academic staff and current students either online or in person during clearing.

 

Keep results day free

Keep your results day free (plus the following weekend).

Make sure you’ve got a working phone, pen and paper and access to the internet.

We advise all applicants to complete our online clearing form. This form is quick and easy to complete, it is also the quickest way for you to receive a decision from Exeter.

 

How do I find a place through Clearing?

It is important to ensure that you consider all your options and don’t rush. Take your time to make the right decision for you.

If you go through Clearing and find that your grades are not high enough to secure the place you want, we would advise you to consider your options. You might decide that retaking your exams and applying again the following year is the best option for you.

 

Contacting the University of Exeter

Our admissions team will be available to help with any queries and questions via our online chat

https://vacancies.exeter.ac.uk/clearing/home/

Students can also sign up for our Clearing emails and we’ll let you know when our places in Clearing become available as well as top tips and guidance for applying through the Clearing process.

http://www.exeter.ac.uk/clearing/sign-up/

 

So, what’s the deal with Clearing Plus?

Clearing Plus was announced back in May. As summer swiftly approaches, getting clarity on the processes your students can get involved in is key.

In short, Clearing Plus means that unplaced applicants (who would have likely entered clearing on results day) can explore courses that UCAS has matched them to, using information they initially inputted on Track, at a range of Universities. Applicants who explore the options Clearing Plus offers will be provided with a button that says ‘I’m interested’, meaning a University can then get in contact with them and provide more information.

The distinct thing about Clearing Plus is the ability for an applicant to move easily between courses and Universities – exploring the wealth of options that are available and easily expressing interest in a course.

When:
From 6 July applicants will be able to enter Clearing Plus through Track, using their normal UCAS account login.

Further guidance on Clearing Plus: https://www.ucas.com/advisers/managing-applications/supporting-you-through-confirmation-and-clearing/whats-new-2020

If you have any questions about the way the University of Exeter will be using Clearing Plus, or what this might mean for your students, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Amy Williams, Outreach Officer