University Tips Blog
An image of a parent planning open days
A headshot image of the author, Jon Cheek

by Jon Cheek


posted on 6 Feb '23

This blog was kindly provided by Georgia Hargreaves for the UniTasterDays Parents' Guide to University

Attending a university open day can be one of the best ways to support a student when choosing the course and the universities they would like to apply to.

Below are some of my top tips for making the most out of a university open day, towards helping the young person you support to make great university choices.

Booking an open day

The first step to making the most of university open days is choosing which ones to attend! Making a list of the universities your young person wants to see and which date each of their open days are taking place is good place to start.

By planning ahead, you can organise transport and accommodation in advance and make sure that you have enough time to see all the universities on your list. I would also recommend taking advantage of the virtual open day resources which are now available online. This is a good way to research universities before you make the journey to see them in person - and can also be a great alternative if transport or dates present a barrier.

Planning your open day

Open days are exciting events, but they can also be busy with lots to fit in. The usual type of activities at an open day are higher education and subject presentations, tours of the university accommodation and facilities, and student experience fairs.

With this in mind, it is important to plan your schedule before you arrive. Most universities will send a programme before the event, which you can go through and highlight the activities you want to take part in and what times they are taking place. This will make it easier for you to follow your own schedule on the day and will avoid you missing out on anything. If you’ve got additional time before or after the open day, I would also recommend exploring the town or city that the university is located in or is close to.

A seminar style event at an open day

Getting all your questions answered

As a parent, carer or supporter, you are guaranteed to have lots of questions about the next steps for the young person you support, and open days are the perfect opportunity to ask them.

I would recommend attending key information sessions, which are helpful for anybody supporting a student’s transition into higher education. You can also ask academics and the support departments questions. I would encourage you to speak to current students about their experience at the university, as this is a great indicator of the benefit of studying there.

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