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Making the most of open days

Find out more about how open days can be useful sources of information about routes into Higher Education.
People walking around the University of York campus near to the lakeside.
© University of York

Attending an open day can be a great way to find out in more detail about opportunities in Higher Education.

Open days may be virtual, via a website or online event, or in person at the institution’s campus. They are held at various points of the year, both on weekdays and at weekends, and some events may take place in the evening. You can usually bring guests with you.

A typical open day offers a variety of activities. These might include a tour of the campus, an opportunity to view specific facilities such as the library and accommodation, along with talks about specific subject areas and information about finance and applications. You will get an opportunity to talk to staff who teach the courses and with current students. Careers Services often run drop-in events at open days, where you can talk informally with an adviser. York offers a number of such open events, and details of those can be found online.

Asking questions

Open days are a great opportunity to ask questions and find out information that isn’t necessarily available on the institution’s website. Academic staff, students and student ambassadors (students who are employed by an institution to help at activities such as open days) will welcome the chance to answer your questions. Both online and in-person events should offer opportunities to ask questions.

It can be helpful to plan your questions in advance. You may have questions about applications. This is an opportunity to clarify anything you are unsure of and to understand what they are looking for from applicants. You may want to know more about the programme itself, such as how it will be delivered and assessed, the typical number of people on the programme and how much contact time there will be. You may have questions about what people go on to do after completing their course.

Student ambassadors can also be excellent sources of information. They can give you insider information on their own experience of the institution, its teaching and facilities, and can share their knowledge about the campus and the local area.

Degree apprenticeships

If you’re particularly interested in degree apprenticeships, then an open day also gives you the opportunity to clarify how and when the training is delivered. You can ask questions about the degree apprenticeship application process, which can sometimes be complex. There may also be representatives from a careers service, who may be able to offer further support. You can find out more about the employers that the university is working with and how much contact the institution has with the employer. You may also get an opportunity to meet people who are currently on a degree apprenticeship programme and put your questions to them directly.

Over to you

Open days are a great opportunity to find out more about Higher Education opportunities. If you are planning to attend an open day, what questions might you ask?

Share in the comments below.

© University of York
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