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This is a guest blog by current student Kenneth Dumbura, who currently studies BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance and came through Clearing.

Before I came to Bournemouth University I was studying for a BTEC Extended Diploma (level 3), in IT (Information Technology). BTEC qualifications vary, but essentially they are considered to be slightly more vocational than A-levels- so great for students who are more practical and prefer a hands on approach to their learning. Ideal for me.

In my second year, school teachers got us thinking about our next steps after finishing college and I automatically assumed as a BTEC student that my options going forward were either an apprenticeship or work. I wasn’t really encouraged to aspire for more and although I started my UCAS application and selected five choices, I didn’t submit my application through UCAS. I felt unmotivated and didn’t feel I would stand a chance against other A-level students.

When I received my BTEC results, I realised I had aced it. I did so much better than I expected and I started to wonder why I had doubted myself about going to uni in the first place. After a bit of convincing from family and friends, I decided that I would give university a shot. What did I have to lose?

The first university I looked at through Clearing was Bournemouth because this had been one of my choices when I had filled out my UCAS application that I never sent. Luckily for me, the course I was interested in,  BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance was still available!

In my eyes, the Clearing process was really very straight forward. In just one phone call and a few emails, I was already an official student at BU. When you go through Clearing, it’s usually after your results in July/August, so it’s a little daunting to think that you need to get yourself prepared for such a drastic change in such little time but fortunately, BU pretty much guided me on what I needed to do from start to finish which really helped with the nerves.

It was nerve racking making that call. Lots of people had said to me that it would be difficult to get into uni in the first place and then even if I did get in that I would inevitably struggle because I did a BTEC. I can confirm I haven’t found this to be the case. Uni can be hands on and practical too, it’s just dependent on the course you choose. So my advice would be to call and ask at each university so you can see whats involved from the three/four years.

At the end of it all, it doesn’t matter if you have studied BTEC’s or A-levels. What really matters is the mentality you bring with you when you arrive on your first day. If you haven’t submitted your UCAS application, it’s worth considering your options through Clearing. It’s the best choice I made.

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