University Open Days: Everything You Always Wanted To Know About X

Attending university open days can be both arduous and costly, hence parents and students alike want to ensure that they come away with a clear sense of whether the universities they visit are a good match. Carole McCann, head of student recruitment at the University of Law, advises bringing someone along who knows the student well, whether it be a parent, friend or partner. This individual can provide valuable insight into whether they can picture the student succeeding at that institution. These people can also act as a grounding influence in case the student gets caught up in the day’s excitement and forgets to ask important questions. Prior preparation is crucial, so book train tickets and accommodation beforehand and find out the day’s agenda. Emily Oliver, a third-year early childhood studies student at the University of Derby, who presents at the university’s welcome talks, recommends creating a list of questions before visiting. The university guide can be accessed beforehand, which can assist prospective students to plan their day efficiently.

Dipisha Patel, events coordinator at the University of Wolverhampton, suggests asking specific questions about potential courses such as information regarding employment rates and career options for graduates. She also advises talking to current students to gain a better perspective about the university. Abbie Hettle, who graduated from the University of York in January 2018, suggests asking student volunteers about their experiences of getting accommodation, which can be challenging due to high demand. Open days can be overwhelming, so take the time to experience the campus and surrounding city. Enjoying the atmosphere and absorbing the overall vibe is important. This feeling cannot be gained from online research alone.

Parents can provide guidance, but ultimately the decision must be made by the student. It can be difficult for parents to let their child make the final decision, but it is crucial. Nonetheless, it is essential for parents to get their questions answered as well. Karen Packham found that attending open days with her daughter, Kristen Shorey, not only provided an opportunity for information-gathering but also a chance to spend time together in cities they hadn’t visited before. Shorey attended general open days at several universities, including Cardiff and Sussex, and specific offer-holder days at Newcastle and Liverpool, among others, usually accompanied by a parent. She is now studying psychology at the University of Reading. Open days are a valuable way to narrow down potential options. Comparing university information collected during open days can aid in the decision-making process and speaking with current students is a valuable source of personal opinions on the student life and atmosphere.

Shorey sought her parents’ guidance and support while exploring new cities that she had never visited before. Her parents offered her valuable advice on various aspects such as student life, extracurricular activities, accommodation, and student support. Additionally, they helped her by asking important questions that she had not even considered.

Packham, on the other hand, did not involve her parents in her university open days. However, she feels that times have changed now. Even though her parents were not educated and had never gone to university, hence not an ideal source of information. Therefore, Packham believes that the dynamics are different today. Since students bear heavy loan burdens upon graduation, it is crucial to involve parents in such decisions. While she believes that children should be independent, she acts as a touchpoint to pick up any subtleties that they may have missed.


  • miabailey

    I'm a 32-year-old educational blogger and student. I love to write and share my knowledge with others. I also like to learn new things and share what I've learned with others.