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How a nightmare results day became a life-defining moment for Coventry University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Latham CBE

How a nightmare results day became a life-defining moment for Coventry University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Latham CBE

Coventry University’s Vice-Chancellor thought the world had ended following a disappointing results day – but he now credits the setback with propelling him on the path to becoming a higher education leader. 

Professor John Latham CBE said: “I completely failed my A level results the first time round – but I was very good at snooker! When I failed, the initial feeling was that the world had ended. Now what do I do? I had all these plans of where I was going to go. 

“What is really interesting for me now is that when people ask me what the big defining moments in my life are, I say that one of them is the day I failed my A level results. It made me really think about what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go.” 

Despite his initial results, John was able to get support from a local college and re-take his exams. 

“My second results day was brilliant because I’d achieved the A levels I wanted to achieve and the options I wanted were available to me. I was then very clear about where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do,” he said.  

“I was very lucky to come to Coventry. I studied here, got my first degree and I’ve had a very successful career. I’ve done many things, I’ve worked in different parts of the world, been involved with different industrial collaborators and I’ve built a better future for myself.” 

John knows how important support is during the progression to university and Coventry University has a comprehensive Clearing operation, giving learners the chance to explore their options. 

He said: “I’m passionate about providing support to students. I know from first-hand experience the enormous difference having someone there to talk to can make, it changes lives. If you haven’t quite got the grades that you were expecting or if you just want to look at other options, then Clearing is something that we are really good at. 

“We have a huge, flexible team that are here to help you choose your path and enable you to do what you want to do. If you are unsure of what you want to do next, my main advice is to talk to someone. 

“You can talk to one of our advisors and make sure you take every opportunity to explore every option that we have as an organisation about what your future career might look like.” 

To find out more about Clearing at Coventry University visit Clearing 2023 | Coventry University 

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