Why Kingston University probably hate me

My relationship with Kingston University has been strained, to say the least. I first applied for a course there way back in 2006, when I was looking at undergraduate courses. I visited it one day, to have a look around and will always remember passing somebody on a path and overhearing them say something like, “This uni is so rubbish…” as they passed me. It felt like an omen. My first choice uni accepted me anyway, so I didn’t go to Kingston, as they were my back-up.

Then, late last year, I decided to apply for a PGCE with them, as they had quite a good reputation for the course. I again put them second and a different university first. I was surprised, therefore, when I got a letter from Kingston University asking me to come for an interview, before I got anything from my first choice university. I called up UCAS, the people who process and send out your applications to universities. I asked if something was wrong and if my first choice uni had my form.

And of course they didn’t! On the application form, you list your first choice UNDERNEATH your second choice. So I had put my choices the wrong way round.

UCAS said they would have to withdraw my application from Kingston Uni before they could send it to the other one. I would have to call Kingston and tell them to stop my application.

The phone call went something like this.

“Hi, I just need to speak to someone about my application for the PGCE.”
“Yes, I can help you with that.”
“Ok, I need to withdraw it. There’s been a problem on my form so I need to correct the mistake and then send it out again.”
“O, right. What’s the problem on your form?”
“I just, erm, it’s a problem with my choices.”

(Awkward, don’t want to say, “I put you first by accident but I don’t want you, I want someone else.”)

“Right, so what’s the problem with your choices then.”
“….Erm, it’s just… Erm… They’re in the wrong order.”
“Ok, so what’s the problem with the order.”
“…Erm. I, erm, put Kingston first and I meant to put the other university first.”

There it was. I’d said it. I’d said, you’re my back up, I don’t really want you. Now can you give me my form back so I can take it to the university I actually want to go to.

Awkward phone call.

She tried to persuade me to come to the interview I’d already been offered, because if my first choice university didn’t want me, it would have to go back to Kingston anyway, so that way, they’d already know whether they were going to offer me a place on the course. I said I’d try to change my shift at work because it was the next day and a bit late notice. Someone could cover but from 9am so I called back to ask if I could come a bit late, she sounded irritated but said it was fine. Then there was a bit of to-ing and fro-ing with workmates and I realised I couldn’t take the day off at all. So I called back and said I couldn’t come. So I’ve annoyed them. I’ve really annoyed them.

Then my first place university DOES reject me. And so my application goes back to Kingston Uni! They offer me an interview but when I call up to accept, they say there’s no record of them offering me an interview. Their system tells them I’m down as having been rejected.

I email someone to ask what the confusion is. I have a letter for an interview. Their system says they’ve rejected me. In the end, they kind of say I can come to a group interview day, I think to get me off their backs.

I go along and spend the day using three words to describe myself and what I feel makes a good teacher and other such nonsense. I felt like I did ok. We were told we’d get a letter in a week.

The next day, I get an email from them saying no thank you.


I think they hated me by the end of it all…! I’ve also got a feeling I was allowed on the interview day just to get me to shut up and stop calling and emailing!

The moral of this story? Don’t be an idiot with your application form. And don’t make it really obvious you don’t want something, if you might need to later pretend you really do want it.

15 responses to this post.

  1. oh, man – that sucks! I recall only too well the ‘fun’ of filling out uni forms. They are designed by a humourless person who hates the world and wants to make everyone else suffer.


    • Totally! I blame them for my stupidity! It took forever to fill in the bloody form so by the time I got to the last section about choices, I was on the verge of developing a mental illness.


  2. That’s pretty crap. I’d be tempted to call them back up and ask for their complaint procedure, I am sure they will have one and it seems fairly blatant that they didn’t give you a fair shot by screwing up your interview.


    • Yeh, if I’d really wanted to go on their course, I might have. But they were my second choice uni and I only had them for back-up, so wasn’t hugely upset when I didn’t get a place there.


  3. Posted by jumeirajames on September 24, 2012 at 14:49

    That reminds me of David Niven’s application to join the army wherein he wrote under ‘preferred regiment’ – “anything but the Highland Light Infantry”. A notorious Glasgow regiment. Of course, guess who he spent the war with?


  4. Posted by Alex Jones on October 24, 2012 at 21:12

    Life can be like a chess game, make the first bad move and the rest of the game gets hard to turn around.


  5. Posted by cdsouza on July 27, 2013 at 14:05

    I went to Kingston Uni, only recently graduated in BA Architecture and found the place exactly how you defined it. The Staff that run the management are very harsh and come across with no politeness. It seems every problem that surmounts is taken with bitterness and a lack of concern, your problems are never their problems, even though you spend £3000 to be there. This is also very similar to most of the tutors but not all. The marking process is something i have always had a problem with as your tutors eventually mark your own work, therefore the process is extremely biased to how they perceive you and not your work.
    All in all, if your not going to suck the cock of your tutor to get a first then id go to a different uni. If not be ready to lock horns with the whole establishment.


  6. Posted by asd123 on November 30, 2013 at 02:03

    Kingston’s admin stuff is rubbish, they never pick up the phone plus they are inpolite and they don’t give a damn


  7. Posted by senile_resolution on March 1, 2015 at 16:58

    I know it’s wrong but I couldn’t help but laugh, – not at your misfortune – but because it’s totally something that I would do myself; Where’d you end up doing your PGCE? 🙂


  8. You lucked out, I had some good times, but some were enough tomake your blood boil. I did biology, but the diploma says otherwise and you will see why soon. First some teachers are horrible in teaching, some make the extra effort to ask things they never taught you. Only one or two teachers really bothered in the teaching you.

    I did flow of genetic information where a good chunk of the class failed the first time, me included. Did it against and the same happened, most of the class’s failed but this time I wasn’t allowed to retake it. The problem became apparent when I got my grades and said I didn’t show up for the exam…when I did! After weeks of talking the found my exam, bye the looks of it only part of the exam was found as the award me with 10 out 100. I yguess they didn’t want to bother to correct the mistakes. Then to boot I had problems with my visa, spending time at a court house treying to fight for your future without any single aid from the university is daunting. And the court dates were during finals. Suffice to say I lost and had to leave the UK. Even with exams to do!

    Suffice to say, I graduated without honours in ,09′ and spent 3 years trying to get them to sort of my diploma because of this kerfuffle. And the answer was always the same.

    Now I have a useless diplomas that says “bachelor of science in science studies” and no honours.

    I could tell you more how much of a mess it was there, I started in 2006


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