Banner image showing resources for a creative university event

 by Nia Stokes
, posted On 3 Feb '22
 Undergraduate Student Recruitment Officer at Swansea University

How universities can support schools seeking subject specific events

When researching universities, students are often questioning what the university can offer them when they get there. However, it is also worth finding out what an institution can offer before the application process even starts. One way universities can support schools and colleges with this, is through offering subject specific university events.

Subject specific events come in many forms and are a great way for your students to start exploring higher education. Student recruitment teams can offer talks and workshops in person or online on a range of subjects, from course tasters to student life and personal statements.

On-campus visit days have also returned for many institutions, which allow students to experience university facilities first-hand whilst receiving sessions from academics. Furthermore, summer school programs can encourage students to gain independence and meet new people.

Image demonstrating different university subjects

The benefits of subject specific university events

Subject events are highly beneficial for prospective students. Deciding what subject to study at university can be a daunting task, especially if they are considering areas that are not taught at their school or college. Trying out a subject with their chosen university can give a real insight into whether they can see themselves pursuing it as a career.

Doing so can also provide a taster of university teaching. Lectures, seminars and tutorials differ greatly from Key Stage 5 education, as does the independent study that university courses often require. Experiencing this at a summer school or webinar session can indicate to students whether university is right for them.

Another advantage of subject specific events is that university academics are leading researchers in their fields, so discussion of a specific subject through a webinar session can also develop students’ knowledge and improve their academic skill in preparation for their exams.

Mentioning this event participation can look attractive in a personal statement too, demonstrating interest and commitment - especially if it involves a student’s chosen university.

Subject specific events have school and college benefits too

As well as being of great benefit to your students, organising these events can also help school and colleges to achieve their Gatsby Benchmarks. Incorporating regular sessions into your timetables will increase encounters with higher education (Benchmark 7), link your curriculum to careers (Benchmark 4), and create a stable careers programme (Benchmark 1).

Each institution will have their own event provision, but as an example, at Swansea University, we offer a termly Current News webinar series for year 12 and 13 students, which runs over 2 weeks.

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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