Posted 20 August 2018
"It was very easy; I was given an unconditional offer after the phone interview and after that I followed the guidelines on UCAS. I did everything while away on holiday in Barcelona!"
Mature student Harry Buckley is currently at Harper Adams University studying FdSc Agriculture with Mechanisation, a course he entered on via Clearing.
The 24-year-old from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, said: “When I opened my A-levels results, I knew I hadn't done particularly well and I had the daunting feeling of knowing that my parents were going to find out and it would limit what choices I had in the future.”
However, Harry wasn’t too concerned about his A-level grades as he’d already decided that he was going to Australia following school: “I spent my first year in a school as their gap year student, helping with work behind the scenes. I then I went out onto cattle stations in the Northern Territory on a 4.2 million acre property with 60,000 breeders. We used horses, motorbikes and helicopters to round the cows up; pretty Wild West! But it opened my eyes to what I enjoy; agriculture.
“To my disappointment, I wasn't allowed to stay in the country due to not having a degree, so as soon as I got home I wanted to get a degree, maybe go back out to Australia but also see what other doors opened at the same time.”
Harry applied to Harper Adams via Clearing. He said: “I spoke to the Agriculture Course Manager Russell Readman. He described the whole process very well. Explained how I’d be on the FdSc Agriculture with Mechanisation course, with the option to move up on to the bachelor's course, depending on my first year results.
“It was very easy; he gave me an unconditional offer after the phone interview and after that I followed the guidelines on UCAS. I did everything while away on holiday in Barcelona! I did my application at the end of August, so by the time everything was sorted, I was here.”
Looking back on his time at Harper so far, Harry said: “My highlight so far has been the clubs and societies you can join; there’s such a range of things and everyone is very likeminded.
“I played polo and field sports in my first year. I can’t say how important it is to go and join a club; it’s really the best way to make friends.”
Harry also shared his advice for mature students who may have been out of education for a while and don’t have the strongest exam grades behind them: “Give the University a ring; if you don’t ask you’ll never know. It doesn’t always matter what A-levels you’ve got under your belt, if you’ve got the experience they’re more than happy to talk to you. You just never know unless you ask.”
The Harper Adams Clearing hotline is: 01952 81 5000 and is open:
Monday 20 August: 9am – 6pm
Tuesday 21 August onwards (Monday-Friday): 9am – 5pm