Reflections on Clearing…and the future for Graduates

This has been a strange time. Those sections of the media most scathing about the mass influx of young people into Higher Education have been outraged that suitability qualified young people can’t get into University.  We have had the somewhat traditional “Qualifications arn’t what they used to be in my day” leader articles or news reports. This has included our local radio station interviewing a local employer who finds current graduates so very poor he now recruits from Warsaw University instead. I’ve also had the contents of this article about a young man who was awarded a certificate for getting on a bus  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1206444/Boy-gets-exam-certificate-catching-bus.html#comments mentioned more than once, although it is interesting it gathered 247 comments on this one website, let alone the other papers which reported it.  We’ve also had the spectre of no jobs for graduates mentioned in the press this month. Again recruitment of graduates  does seem to be far more mixed than some of the press reports would lead you to believe.  As someone who has been through recessions before, this is not unusual. However the press coverage would lead you to believe that there are not any opportunitys for a graduate in the UK…well maybe I exaggerate slightly. I’ll be glad when the press have some more news to get their teeth into. Thought that Dr Wendy Piatt of the Russell Group made some valid points when she was interviewed about this issue. Also there is an interesting blog posting by Charlie Ball of HECSU about Graduate employment issues at the HECSU blog http://hecsu.blogspot.com/2009/07/labour-market-gloom.html

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Clearing – adventures in Media Land

It’s that time so beloved by the press, politicians and general experts of all hues, the annual exam results period. I’ve been interviewed on various local radio stations for this event, and dealt with the challengeof speaking in sound bites rather than give a full, but probably too long for the radio, answer to questions. I’ve also recording a Pod-cast on our website about this time covering most things from getting the exam letter, opening the envelope celebrating (or commiserating),  and answering some of the more common questions people have about clearing and what to do next. There is lots to say and do right now, and although we stayed open late on this and next Thursday, (and we are open late every Tuesday anyway), clearing does continue for several weeks and in fact the rush to “sort something out” quickly can be a difficult choice. As always the advice must be to talk to someone either where the student has studied and is known, or at a suitable guidance organisation, where all options can be considered and plans can be reviewed. I do feel like offering Good Luck to everyone who has their results at this time, whilst being aware that students on vocational courses had their results several weeks ago.