University Tips Blog
Image of a group of students planning university open days
A headshot image of the author, Ashleigh Little

by Ashleigh Little

Head of Post-16 Outreach and Recruitment at the University of Sunderland

posted on 11 Sep '23

A guide to university open days

Once your student has made a shortlist of the universities they are considering, the next step is to visit their chosen universities.

Most universities host their main open days on a Saturday, and some host events more frequently than others. You can usually find out when their next open day is by visiting the university website or browsing events on

Most universities can accommodate school group bookings for their open days too. If you email their recruitment team in advance, they will be happy to organise your trip to come and see them.

Image of a group of students and parents at a university open day

Top tips to help students get the most out of their university open day:

Register in advance – signing up to the open day in advance means they will receive the open day programme ahead of time. This means your students can plan if they need to book travel or accommodation, and if there is anything going on in the town or city, they may wish to spend a weekend there, exploring the feel of the area.

Travel costs support – some universities offer a reimbursement of travel costs, so make sure your students look out for this and see if they are eligible. They may also provide refreshments, and some even provide lunch!

Timetable talks and tours – using the open day programme, they should make a list of the talks and tours they want to attend, so they don’t clash. Make sure they leave enough time to see and do what they want to, without feeling rushed. Universities may repeat their most popular subject talks in the morning and afternoon, so they can attend more than one subject talk.

Prepare questions – get your students to write questions beforehand to ask the academics. Whether it’s about module content or hours of study per week, their answers will help when comparing subjects at different universities.

Attend the finance talk – if the university has put a finance talk in their programme, I would encourage your students to attend it. It will provide information on how university funding works, when and how to apply for it, and what students are eligible for based on their circumstances. This information is crucial for guiding your students through the application process.

Speak to current students – all universities have student ambassadors on hand during an open day. These ambassadors are current students who are there to guide them around the university. They are also there to talk to your students about their chosen course and what it is like to study there. Getting first-hand accounts from their peers is invaluable when making such a big decision.

Once your students have visited their chosen institutions, they will usually have an inkling of where they feel the best place for them is. It is important that they choose somewhere that they feel they will belong, and where they will feel safe and supported to achieve their goals.

Prefer to listen?

Check out episode 8 of The UniTasterDays Uni guide Podcast , a university open days special!

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