University Tips Blog
Image of a student attending a university event
A headshot image of the author, David Handy

by David Handy

Director of Admissions, Marketing and Progression at King Edward VI College Stourbridge

posted on 29 Sep '23

A guide to booking a university event for your school

Following the publication of the Gatsby benchmarks in 2014, schools have increasingly sought to work with partners from the world of higher education to inform and educate their students on the fantastic opportunities available.

Higher education providers receive multiple requests on a daily basis from partners in schools for events on site with the school, and also on site at universities. Owing to the volume of requests, allied to staffing and logistical arrangements, recruitment and outreach teams will often have to prioritise events to ensure that they are delivering a good return on investment.

On university websites you will find email addresses for recruitment and outreach teams that will be ready and willing to listen to your requests – or you can also use the free event request service on I would always recommend planning in advance to secure attendance to your event – waiting until the last minute may result in disappointment. The more lead time you can give, the more chance of securing the experts!

Image of a university speaker at a school event

If the event would take place on site in school, the university would need the following information to consider your request:

• The year group(s) that will be attending.
• The approximate number of students or parents that will be in attendance.
• The service required from the higher education institution (e.g. attendance at a careers fair, delivery of a presentation, a workshop, mock interviews, attendance at a parents evening, etc.).
• The time of the session(s) and if this is to be repeated, how many times?
• What IT facilities will be available, particularly for workshops and presentations.
• Will car parking be provided?
• For longer events, will refreshments or lunch be provided for university staff in attendance?

It is also crucial to consider the timing of the event! Does the event need to last all day, or can it be shortened into a more concise event? If parents are to attend, are they going to attend immediately after the end of the school day or is there going to be a gap before a parental session?

If you are looking to book a visit to a university for taster activities, presentations or residential activities, you will need to provide the following information for the university to consider whether they can support your request:

• The year group(s) that will be attending.
• The approximate number of students that will be in attendance.
• What activities you require from the university.
• The time of the planned arrival and departure.

The best relationships between schools and universities evolve over years, often with activities repeated on an annual basis. This is built upon an ever-strengthening relationship and the knowledge of activities that are mutually beneficial for the school, the students and/or parents involved, and the university.

Top tip

In my experience, Key Stage 3 students in particular can often be poorly prepared for careers fair events. You may therefore wish to build short presentations into the programme where colleges, universities, training providers and others can provide some event context and the types of questions students could ask. This will enable students to benefit more from the experts in attendance.

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