Uni Open Days

(72 Posts)
Horsemad Fri 23-Aug-13 11:40:21

DS1 will go into the 6th form in Sept; when do they start to go to uni open days? I know a lot of unis have their open days in Sept/ Oct. Would it be better to go this year or next?

Horsemad Sat 24-Aug-13 22:44:39

Really? Wow!

alreadytaken Sat 24-Aug-13 23:01:46

free accommodation for the applicant - if parent(s) want to go they pay. Some Cambridge colleges can offer accommodation for the applicant but charge. More colleges provide it than you would think from their websites hmm. Both Oxford and Cambridge provide free accommodation for interviewees, Cambridge for less time than Oxford.

Fairdene Sat 24-Aug-13 23:14:28

I should hope they do provide free accommodation for interviewees! I can't think why parents would need to go to the June open days either - it's for the kids, parents are superfluous on the whole. All I meant was that OP's DS will get overnight accommodation in June if he's still interested enough to go. My own view is that it's much more valuable for DC to go alone, or with friends. It's the kids that the tutors are interested in, not the parents. I've seen some memorable parental displays at open days in my time, including the wife of a 'very important HT of a very well known public school' ..... smile

alreadytaken Sat 24-Aug-13 23:28:40

Oxbridge also provide free lunches on open days, Horsemad with breakfast and sometimes dinner if you stay overnight. All meals are provided for interviewees.

IME other universities dont provide free accommodation for interviews, medical schools even have an unhelpful approach to timing (not enough notice to book cheap fares).

Fairdene tutors may be interested only in the young people, parents sometimes have to go as it's the only way to get there and back quickly. Parents also have a role to play in picking up information.

Fairdene Sat 24-Aug-13 23:34:22

alreadytaken apologies if this sounds rude but you do sound a little preoccupied with free meals etc!

My position has been that it's the young people who need to go first and foremost and that this is the time to begin to let go.

Horsemad Sat 24-Aug-13 23:36:34

I guess that as parents are doing a lot of funding, they may want to attend also.
I know for a fact that my DH would definately want to go!

Fairdene Sat 24-Aug-13 23:45:29

Horsemad I know that unis can sideline the parents and give them an hour or so then send them on their way. The main focus is really, truly on the students. The fact is that the more the parents are required to fund, the wealthier they are, but that that shouldn't entitle them to more advice than less well off parents get. So the funding side is irrelevant. Some parents seem to think that because the pay, they can intrude on their DC progress and exam results. But they can't.

Horsemad Sun 25-Aug-13 00:14:47

Oh I agree Fairdene - my DH didn't go to uni even though encouraged to by his parents; he did his degree with the OU and I do think he is living the uni application process vicariously through DS, although he'd refute that. smile
I just like visiting places, so am looking forward to some trips away!

MissMarplesBloomers Sun 25-Aug-13 06:27:56

Of course the visits are all about the students but it can be fun sharing the experience!

I gave DD the choice of wether or not I was just taxi or supporter.

Far from being sidelined I found all the Unis we visited very pro parental involvement. Dd went off to several subject specific talks while I did the funding/ this is what happens ones. I sat in the cafe & we met up at several points toj

MissMarplesBloomers Sun 25-Aug-13 06:30:43

Of course the visits are all about the students but it can be fun sharing the experience!

I gave DD the choice of wether or not I was just taxi or supporter.

Far from being sidelined I found all the Unis we visited very pro parental involvement. Dd went off to several subject specific talks while I did the funding/ this is
what happens ones. I sat in the cafe & we met up at several points to compare notes.

She felt another view point was useful to help sift through the pros & cons of each but ultimately it was her choice as she's the one going there!

MissMarplesBloomers Sun 25-Aug-13 06:31:22

Oops sorry double post!

yellowballoons Sun 25-Aug-13 08:59:39

I dont agree with Fairdene. As a parent, or even just as a second pair of eyes and ears, you can pick up things that they miss.
They tend to skim read at best, some of the literature they are given, even if they have bothered to pick it all up in the first place.
And parents should be able to somewhat read between the lines of some of the things they hear too.

yellowballoons Sun 25-Aug-13 09:03:53

Absolutely agree with MissMarple's post.
I often see parents saying they are not going, and I shudder. It may work out all right, and perhaps some journies are unnecessary. But better safe than sorry.
The kids are ultimately going out and spending £40,000 of their money.
I know several cases where the young person has made the wrong choice.
Up to a couple of years ago, dropping the course and starting a new one was quite usual. Cant see it happening much any more. So it is very important to help them get the next vital stage of their education and life correct as much as you can.

Fairdene Sun 25-Aug-13 10:07:00

I agree with almost all of your points yellow; my comments related to the Oxford open days in June which are very much student focussed and where a parent attending (unless the student is allowed to free range)might well get in the way.

Horsemad Sun 25-Aug-13 10:09:08

I agree with Fairdene's comment that wealthier parents shouldn't be entitled to better advice.

If parents wish to accompany their children to open days, then that's fine imo.

Horsemad Sun 25-Aug-13 10:13:05

My mother has already decided DS has got to go to Oxbridge hmm

Luckily, she doesn't have a huge amount of influence, so hopefully DS will be able to make his own choice without too much familial pressure.

Fairdene Sun 25-Aug-13 10:15:29

I've done it a different way myself: for those universities that my DC have been interested in, I've driven them there outside of open days and we've had a good look around, together, but they've attended the formal open days themselves - either with each other or friends.

BeaconTent Sun 25-Aug-13 10:54:20

DD 2 is just about to start a levels and we are taking her to 6 open days in Sept/Oct. Having learned from DD 1 it's as worthwhile getting a feel for the unis and locations that she doesn't like as the ones she does. Doing it now will also give chance to be sure her a level choices are definitely the right ones.

Horsemad Sun 25-Aug-13 11:33:10

Yep, we'll go to a few I think, just to get a feel for them and see what DS thinks.

creamteas Sun 25-Aug-13 12:13:30

If I has in charge, I would ban parents from Open Days grin. The more parents there are the less the applicants bother to engage with the process.

We even have parents coming without the applicants on some occasions.... Whilst parents can be a good sounding board, this is not their decision.

Plus parents attending create a lot of extra work. We have to run twice as many Open Days as we used to in order to accommodate the extra bodies.

DalmationDots Sun 25-Aug-13 17:43:14

As others have said, next summer after AS exams. My DD went to one or two in the easter because it was a uni and course she (thought) she'd love and would be her top choice and they had a specific department open day. (Turned out she hated it but was worth it just in case!)

You will find school are flexible and expecting students to be off after the summer AS exams for open days, best not to go in September or they will miss vital lessons.

Good luck, DC did all the research and we drew up shortlist after shortlist, it was a very exciting process. We did some open days together and others DC had to go alone but I loved looking around and helping DC choose. It was a great time!

ISingSoprano Sun 25-Aug-13 17:46:54

I quite understand creamteas why parents can be a bit of a pain at open days. However, sixth forms are rightly reluctant to allow more time off than is really necessary. The only way ds could get there and back from some of his open days in one day (thus keeping time off to a minimum) was for dh or me to take him. It's just a juggling act really to do enough research to make the right decision while not missing too much class time.

DalmationDots Sun 25-Aug-13 17:47:22

creamteas I can see this from your point of view and my DC did go to some alone, especially post-offer open days when I wanted them to make their own decisions. However, DC found it very useful to have another set of eyes and someone to chat through things with when we were in the narrowing down stage. DC found I pointed things out they hadn't noticed.
Their choices were very much their own, but they wanted me to be a supporter for what is a very big decision.
I know some parents go and look around in a way you would look around a private school, seeing if it is good enough for their DC and speaking to tutors to get advise for their DC.. And I agree that is too much!!

exoticfruits Mon 26-Aug-13 22:30:08

The fact is that parents go these days- it is the norm. It is so established that many universities run tours and talks for the parents while the students have different ones. They even send you vouchers for a hot drink!

BlackMogul Mon 26-Aug-13 22:59:08

Why go to a Uni close at hand if you are Oxbridge material? My DDs wanted specific universities and wanted a city life. They did not want to be stuck on a campus miles from civilisation. This was probably just as important as the highest ranking course. You do choose 5 Unis so getting a flavour of what they offer in terms of course, employment prospects, living experience and general ambience is important. Where does he think he will fit in? You need to visit to check this out. Oxbridge do subject days too so this is an extra visit but worth it.

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