To get the best value out of university open days, it’s advisable to prepare in advance. Open days often include a variety of lectures, walking tours and presentations, so your child should check what’s on offer and plan accordingly.
To help with this preparation here are our top tips for getting the most out of university open days:
1. Prepare questions in advance
Do not be afraid to ask questions. Open days provide the perfect opportunity to receive direct answers to questions that may be difficult to find online. Furthermore, answers to some questions may be different compared to the previous year, such as whether they would make exceptions to the entry requirements stated on their website. Both you and your child should think of some questions in advance rather than thinking on the spot.
2. Speak with students
Whilst open days provide an opportunity to receive information on the degree course and the university itself, nothing beats hearing from someone with first-hand experience of what it is like to study there. It’s a good idea for both of you to speak to current undergraduate students if the opportunity arises - ask them questions about teaching quality, societies, accommodation and the local area.
3. Walk and observe
Walk around the campus and university town or city. Try to encourage your child to get a good feel for the environment. Can they imagine themselves living there? Do the students look happy? Is it a friendly environment?
4. The art of seduction
Universities take the opportunity of open days to showcase their most impressive facilities.
Be mindful, what you are being shown likely represents the very best they have to offer. Don’t let your child be totally seduced by this, they must make their decision based on plenty of other research too.
5. Don’t stress if you can’t attend
If you are unable to make the official open day, then you may choose to arrange a private viewing. Call the admissions team to arrange a suitable date and time to visit. Whilst you are likely to miss out on some of the lectures and presentations that are organised during an open day, you may still be able to speak with a member of staff from the relevant faculty.
For a list of sample questions and more tips on how you can support your child in getting the most out of university open days, check out The Parents' Guide to University.