An Open Day is a day in which the university opens its doors to prospective students so they get a feel for the institution. They help students decide whether a university is right for them. They often happen in the Summer and Autumn, ready for UCAS applications in the Autumn/Winter.
Once your son or daughter has compiled a list of universities that might suit them, they will need to whittle these down to a realistic number to visit. You can find open day dates on university websites or on our events page. Prior to attending an open day, you will need to register online.
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What to Expect at an Open Day:
Open days vary from university to university. However, for parents the most important elements are:
- campus tours
- accommodation tours
- talks: on issues such as fees, student services, accommodation etc.
Most open days will most probably also include subject talks, demonstrations or sample lectures but theses are more aimed toward prospective students than parents.
Making the Most of Open Days:
To make the most of an open day, it is a good idea for both you and your son/daughter to go with some questions prepared. It is also a good idea to take a notebook with you to note down things like what you thought of the accommodation or what sorts of course modules there are. Persuading your son or daughter to note down any positives or negatives they come across during the day will also really help them when it comes making up their minds.
If you've got the time, also look around the town or city, to give them a feel for the place. After all, they will be living there for at least 3 years.
Visit Days/Post-application Open Days:
Students who applied over the Autumn and have received an offer, will be invited to attend a 'visit day' or 'post-application open day'. These are similar to open days; they allow students to explore the university's facilities and accommodation. Furthermore they are more tailored to individual courses and have more events specifically for parents so can be even more useful than pre-application open days.