University Tips Blog
Image of a student planning an online event schedule
A headshot image of the author, Jon Cheek

by Jon Cheek

Director, UniTasterDays.com

posted on 1 Dec '23

Top tips for making the most of an online university event

Note from UniTasterDays: Text provided by Lily Wearden whilst in-post at Aberystwyth University for the UniTasterDays Parents' Guide to University.

Since 2020, we’ve understandably seen a huge rise in the number of online university events. At Aberystwyth, we have organised virtual Open Days, higher education fairs, webinars, Q&As, subject tasters and much more.

While we are all thrilled to be back working with students in person, these online events certainly still have their place, even without social distancing laws! More than anything, it increases the number of institutions students are now able to access. Your young person can find out everything they need to know from the comfort of their home without travelling hundreds of miles or worrying about clashing Open Day dates.

I always recommend that students visit a university in person before accepting an offer, if the option is available. But for initial information gathering and comparison between institutions, attending an online event can be just as valuable.

Top tips

1. Research

Encourage your young person to explore the university in advance using different websites such as UCAS, the university website, UniTasterDays.com, UniFrog, The Student Room etc. They can work out what they’re interested in about the institution and the course, and what they’d still like to know. Are they eligible for scholarships? What is the accommodation like? Will they be able to continue their hobbies? What are the public transport links like? The more they know in advance, the more they’ll be able to make the most of the online event and the experts who will help them.

2. Talk to the advisers, academics and current students

Online events will not always have the same prompts to help generate conversation as in-person events, so it’s important that your young person still uses the opportunity to learn as much as they can, especially things that are specifically relevant to them.

For prospective students, we understand that it can seem more daunting to message in a chat box than speak to someone face-to-face, but we are there to help ease any worries or concerns your young person may have about university.

3. Take advantage of what is available

It’s very easy for students to scroll through the welcome page of an online fair, browse a course page they have probably already looked at and then log off. Particularly at large national fairs or online Open Day events, there’s usually so much more on offer such as virtual campus tours, presentations on student life and departmental subject sessions. All of this is created specifically to help provide your young person with the same information they would be able to gather at an in-person event.

4. Attend subject-specific events

Another great thing about having online events so readily available is that universities are able to run academic taster sessions and webinars, which would be less feasible to deliver in person in each individual school. This means your young person will have the chance to learn about the course and experience the teaching style.

It also means that if they’re not 100% sure what they want to study, they can try out different sessions and see what appeals to them the most! You’ll also find that the content is available on-demand as well, so your young person can tune in at their convenience – and maybe they’ll let you join in too!

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