A guide to booking a university
campus visit during a
Gatsby Benchmark 7 requires by the age of
18, all pupils who are considering applying
for university to have had at least two visits
to universities to meet staff and pupils. When
this benchmark was created, we didn’t know a
global pandemic would come along and shut
down almost all UK university campuses.
As restrictions lift and campus policies change,
here are my top tips to getting students out of
the classroom and onto campus.
1. Be flexible with your university visit requirements
While government restrictions may have lifted,
most universities will still have strict policies
and protocols regarding external guests on
campus. Each university will be different
depending on size, location and management.
Contact the provider you would like to visit and
see what their policy allows. Speak with them
to create a visit that works best for both of you.
Do consider it might not look like your previous
visits. For example, you could organise
multi-day, half-day, or mini-visits with multiple
smaller groups, run activities outside (weather
dependent) and/or host carousel sessions.
Room bookings are often one of the biggest
challenges for a university when organising
campus visits, being flexible with your dates
will help immensely. Wednesday afternoons
and university reading weeks will often have
greater room availability.
Dates that are in the school term but outside
of university term-time may also work better.
These traditionally are just before or after
Christmas and Easter breaks, as well as for
most of June and July.
We all hope that there isn’t a return to
lockdowns, but after the last year, it is good
to be prepared. Speak with the university
about a backup plan should a class go into
isolation or a lockdown happen. They will likely
already have a pre-recorded or an interactive
virtual tour available and could probably move
Whilst students have been back in school
since March 2021, many university staff and
students haven’t yet fully returned to campus.
Understand that their policies are likely to be
stricter than current government guidelines
and that having large groups on campus may
make some nervous. Please speak with your
visit provider before arriving on campus about
The benefits of campus activity
Campus visits are a fantastic way to let
students experience what university life is
really like. Students often get to speak directly
with current students and explore the campus
As we adjust to a world with Covid-19,
universities and schools can work together
to ensure that these key experiences can go
ahead in the safest way possible.