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'Comfortable' DMU made Clearing an easy choice for Maa-Afua

De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) always felt like the right place to study for MA/P-Dip Human Resource Management student Maa-Afua Mantey, who declined her first choice in its favour.


Students who receive an unconditional offer from their firm choice university but no longer wish to attend can release that choice and enter Clearing.

Knowing this, Maa-Afua initially placed DMU as her insurance choice, having received an unconditional offer from another university. However, come results day, Maa-Afua had a change of heart and decided that DMU was the right fit for her. She got in touch with the university’s Clearing team and within a week, had her place confirmed on her undergraduate BSc Psychology course.

More information about how to enrol at DMU through Clearing can be found online.

“I can’t say exactly what drew me to DMU. It was a gut feeling really and, ultimately, I just felt more comfortable studying here. I’m from Leicester and my uncle studied there, so when DMU switched my conditional to an unconditional offer, I made the choice to swap out my firm choice,” she said.

“Switching universities was a very easy process. I called up the Clearing team and told them that I wanted to go to DMU instead of my firm choice and they sorted everything. Everyone was really friendly and easy to chat to, so that put me at ease. DMU also had a cheerleading squad, which was something I wanted to pursue, so that was a bonus.”

Since enrolling at DMU in 2017, Maa-Afua has combined her passion for psychology with human resources (HR). With her master’s degree now in sight and a band three NHS role in Leicester secured, the 21-year-old is hoping that the skills she has learned at university can help her increase the representation of ethnic minorities in the health sector.

While studying for her BSc in Psychology, Maa-Afua worked as a healthcare assistant on a mental health ward with Leicestershire Partnership on the NHS Trust. It was this work experience that reinforced the idea that there is not enough mental health support for lower-paid workers, and the best way to help was to study for her master’s in Human Resource Management.

“There is so much psychology within human resources that isn’t used properly, so it was really interesting for me to pursue my master’s and learn about the subject in depth.

“Now I realise I can make a difference in assessing the mental health needs of employees, particularly lower-paid workers. How are we meant to encourage these workers to talk about their mental health when there is no one available to help? I want to be that person available to help.

“I was able to tailor the second year of my master’s to set me up for my new role. What I found particularly interesting was how flexible working has been skewed in favour of the higher-paid roles. Some Low skilled workers particularly need flexible hours because they don’t have the funds to send their children to nursery, so often they have to choose between their job or their child.

“I’m hoping that in my new role I can encourage more change to help these more vulnerable workers.”

Maa-Afua’s gut feeling to join DMU has certainly served her well as her university journey goes from strength to strength. Having climbed the ranks to a committee member within the university’s cheerleading team and volunteering as a research project manager, Maa-Afua is closing out her DMU days as a brand ambassador for the Business and Law faculty.

Her passion for making the university as inclusive and fun as possible made her the perfect fit for the role.

“I love DMU and if I can do something that helps me and enhances it, then why not. The open days are really fun and getting the chance to talk to prospective students about my university journey is a really rewarding feeling.

“The university’s employability prospects and teaching staff are such strong selling points that it’s really easy to be enthused about coming here.

Posted on Friday 6th August 2021

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