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 by Andrew Cooper
, posted On 15 Apr '20
 Schools and Colleges Account Manager at Liverpool John Moores University

University support for schools during COVID-19. How can universities help you?

Universities are still open

We are living through exceptional times, but like other educators, something that has not changed is outreach and widening participation practitioners wanting to support students with high quality information, advice and guidance.

I have a privileged position working with HELOA, which means I get to see how much support universities can still offer even when they are working from home. From webinars, to live chats, virtual open days to information videos, the sector is full of opportunities to engage students.

Trying to keep things normal

One of the first things we were told when moving to working from home was to try to make things as normal as possible. Continuing with a series of careers events/days is one way to keep things as normal as possible for students. Browsing university outreach websites/booklets and using websites like UniTasterDays is a good way to start. We are all adapting our content and will be driven by experts such as yourself as to what is best for your needs. Get in touch and ask for what you need.

Leading on from this, if you were planning on running a careers event, how can we support you? Perhaps simply by submitting videos across a range of areas. To serve the best interests of students, it is good to get a range of speakers from various universities to ensure they have the best access to impartial advice. Equally depending on the technology staff can still support live events using Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts or Classroom, Zoom or other software.

In addition, look to see what events the universities are offering. From taster sessions than can be recorded and sent to students, or a live event which they can engage in directly, we are working hard to make sure that students are not missing out.

Visiting a university (kind of)

More and more universities are starting to offer virtual open/applicant events. Of course, it is always best to visit a university in person to make sure it meets expectations. The next best thing though is a virtual open day, which still offers the chance to speak to students/staff and do tours of the institution and city. There is also going to be a variety of virtual taster sessions and summer schools all designed to replicate the opportunities students have during the coming months. Students will still be able to attend multiple events to help them in the decision process and get a feel for what is best for them.

Finally – a thank you

It is a very difficult time, but it is important to stress that we are all in this together. We still want to support the amazing work that you are doing online and, in the schools/colleges that are open. If there is anything we can do, please do get in touch via our websites, social media or on UnTasterDays.

Thank you for continuing to support the next generation through these challenging times. We look forward to working with you over the next few months.

Teachers, careers colleagues and support staff: request your FREE UniTasterDays Teachers' Guide to University brochure.

This brochure has been produced by in collaboration with HELOA - to support the university guidance that is provided in secondary schools and colleges.

Editorial has been provided by over 35 colleagues at universities and higher education institutions throughout the UK. On topics covering how to support students with their university decisions, university events, widening participation & fair access, UCAS applications (including writing school references) and more. It also includes the key student finance facts from Martin Lewis.

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