Attending a UCAS fair can be an overwhelming experience for school pupils. At the largest events there can be upwards of 150 exhibitors, all offering information about their institution. It’s important to try and get pupils prepared for their visit so that they can get the most from their experience. As a regular exhibitor at these events for the last 4 years, here are some of my handy hints:
Firstly, it’s important to make sure that all of your pupils are registered to attend the event. UCAS will provide an e-ticket for each registered pupil with a unique barcode. The barcode can be scanned by exhibitors who will then receive select information about the pupil in order to send tailored information to them. Please make sure that each pupil has their own ticket.
It’s a good idea to get pupils to think about any questions they might want to ask representatives in advance. We are there to help and answer any queries they may have about the institution, the course, the fees, the entry requirements, accommodation, placements, study abroad, etc. Perhaps pupils would like to look at the UCAS website before visiting and select some institutions to visit on the day. We know that your time is limited, so careful planning is key to making the most of your visit.
There are many prospectuses and other sources of information which pupils will want to take away with them. Bringing a sturdy bag will allow them to safely carry their chosen information home with ease.
Encourage pupils to take a pen and paper to jot down any important information, or take snaps on their phone to help remember key information.
Make sure to timetable attendance at workshops and seminars. Various topics will be covered by the presenters, from applying through UCAS to funding advice, from course specific information to how to write a reference for your pupils. You will find information on seminars on the UCAS event website.
The exhibition hall can get quite warm, especially if you’re carrying lots of prospectuses! Encourage pupils to bring water with them, or alternatively take money to purchase a drink on site.
A UCAS fair also provides teachers with the opportunity to expand their knowledge of courses available. Many pupils will turn to their teachers for advice and guidance, so it’s a great chance to find out what’s new. Many universities will be happy to visit your school and provide a workshop or presentation, so it’s a great chance to build up your network of contacts and ask for input into school sessions.
Hopefully this will provide you with a few pointers to make the most of your time at the exhibition. I hope you and your pupils enjoy your visit and find it informative. I hope to meet you at an upcoming event.
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