University Tips Blog
Image of a large audience at a welcome talk at a large exhibition
A headshot image of the author, Carly Outerbridge

by Carly Outerbridge

Undergraduate Student Recruitment and Access Officer at Keele University

posted on 28 Jul '23

How to prepare students for UCAS fairs and events

Talking to students in advance about what to expect during a UCAS exhibition is key to helping avoid the grab and run or “errmm...I don’t know what to say” conversations that we sometimes experience.

We recognise fairs can be quite intimidating, a hall or exhibition centre full of teenagers, teachers, and unfamiliar faces. If students do not know what to expect on the day, they are bound to feel even more unsettled. We would recommend a preparation session in advance and following the steps below can help prepare your students.

It is all about options

Try to get students to think about their next steps and provide reassurance that they do not need to go with an exact picture of what they want to study or where they want to go. It might be handy to produce a shortlist of individual universities that are a must to speak to on the day.

No question is too big or small

The chances are, we have been asked the same questions hundreds of times before. It is important to remind students to not just lean on friends to be the designated university interviewer, as the fair is a fantastic way to help build independence and ask questions that are important to them. Feel free to pass on a few conversation starters about courses, entry requirements, accommodation, facilities, location, extra opportunities, open days and whatever else that interests them!

Image of a group of students chatting at a university fair

What to expect

Share a map in advance with your students to help gather familiarity and allow them to prepare their trail and plan for any scheduled which makes planning a whole lot easier!

Some universities may provide physical or digital prospectuses, either way, it is best to be prepared with a strong bag and wear comfortable shoes. Teachers... wear your Fitbits!

Students will be asked by universities if they would like to have their individual QR code scanned to keep up to date with university updates. Some students find it beneficial to temporarily set this as their phone ‘lock screen’ or have it easily accessible. Providing their QR code does not commit students to go to that institution – they will not be bombarded with emails and can unsubscribe if they choose.

Previous images can help provide familiarity with the day. Most importantly, remind your students to enjoy every minute, this is one step closer to their future. Universities also want to hear from teachers and advisors on the day too – so do not forget to come and introduce yourself!

After the event

After you step back on the coach, there will be lots of worn-out students (and teachers). It can be good to ask the students to make notes and write down the universities that stood out. Revisit the day at your next available opportunity and encourage students to continue the conversation. This might be a chance to explore what action has been taken since, and you might notice a few students who were inspired to start their personal statements early!

Prefer to listen?

Check out episode 12 of The Uni Guide Podcast - a fairs and exhibitions special!

Get email alerts when new blogs are posted

This free newsletter will include information on university events added to UniTasterDays, as well as details about new webinars and blog releases for you and your students.

Recommended blogs

Cookie Policy    X