Text provided by Selena Lockett, for the Parents' Guide to University brochure. When in post at Swansea University.
Supporting your young person whilst navigating their university options can often feel overwhelming. Amid so many decisions, Open Days are a great opportunity to gain an insight into the academic and student experience that different institutions offer. This article outlines how Open Days can help ease the transition and clarify what you can expect from attending as a parent or guardian.
Universities run subject-specific talks aimed to provide a taster of different courses. These sessions are usually attended by parents as well as students and are a good opportunity to gather more information about your young person’s subject of interest, ask questions and meet academics. Some subject sessions may also include a tour of the academic facilities to inform attendees of the unique selling points of their university.
Open Days are a great way to get to grips with a new campus and get a ‘feel’ for the university. Universities offer guided campus tours, opportunities to explore the library, hospitality hot spots and the sports facilities. There is also likely to be an opportunity to meet the Students’ Union and find out more about societies and the student life.
Many universities have various accommodation options available, all with varying fees and benefits. Considering factors such as budget, shared or en suite bathrooms and the proximity to the student’s faculty buildings can help narrow down their choices. Accommodation viewings are available on the day and can help your young person visualise their prospective living situation during their studies.
Disability, mental health, finance, and employability support teams will be on hand to answer any questions and provide further information about the services your young person will have access to throughout their time at university. Meeting with central welfare teams can reassure you with the knowledge that they’ll have access to consistent and accessible support.
Tip one: Check your itinerary!
University Open Days are typically packed with activities throughout the day and these can sometimes overlap. Planning ahead of time ensures you and your young person get to experience the Open Day in its entirety. You can even split up activities between you to cover more ground. Make sure you have copies of the event information to hand, it’ll help to streamline your day.
Tip two: Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Parents and students often have different queries and concerns when it comes to university. Preparing some questions and highlighting your main research points is advised and welcomed. Staff, students and academics will be on hand to share their lived experiences with the university and provide insight into day-to-day student life.
Tip three: Make an experience out of it!
Open Days also give you an opportunity to travel and explore new places. After a long drive, and an active day of research, an overnight stay and opportunity to further explore the local area is a great way to unwind and get better acquainted with the town or city your young person might live in.
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.
by Rebecca Wills
posted on 22 Feb '24
With so many graduates now entering the job market, a degree alone is not always enough. It is therefore very important that you work on developing your employability skills throughout your time at university, and university careers services are experts in offering a range of support to help you achieve this successfully. I will tell you more about some of the opportunities here.