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schools and university visits

(21 Posts)
ellisbell Sun 26-Jun-11 09:25:58

Wondered what support, if any, schools generally offer with this? Local schools seem to differ quite a bit in things like time off to visit universities and whether they actually arrange any coach trips to open days.

sandripples Sun 26-Jun-11 12:29:40

Our school allows 5 days off to do open days. They organise a visit to Oxbridge session in the region, and to University fair. Mainly students organise their own visits.

ellisbell Mon 27-Jun-11 19:57:34

thank you for the reply, perhaps I should have posted under a different education heading

Goblinchild Mon 27-Jun-11 20:11:54

Our schools allow time off for uni visits and open days, but all the organisation is on the individuals. I don't think I've come across a state school that runs coach trips to open days.

Tidybush Mon 27-Jun-11 20:48:50

Goblinchild Mon 27-Jun-11 20:11:54 said "I don't think I've come across a state school that runs coach trips to open days."

Well, my DDs go to a 'bog standard comp' and DD1(17) is away with her whole year on a two day visit to a uni. They've had sample lectures and workshops today and this evening they are sampling the delights of the SU bar. They are staying in halls tonight and will have more workshops tomorrow.

She has also been on school-run day trips to Cambridge and Birmingham and the school organises an annual career fair in house with representatives from a range of HE institutions, companies offering apprenticeships, the armed forces, etc.

Under her own steam she's been to two open days so far with more planned between now and October.

I think a lot of it is to do with the School's attitude to HE, my DDs' school is very keen for the students to progress to good Unis or get on to an employment path with good prospects. Therefore they put a lot of time into promoting the options available out there.

Goblinchild Mon 27-Jun-11 21:28:12

Well, that's lovely to hear. I'm delighted that there are schools that help as many students as possible see what's on offer and support their access to higher education so well.
Round here, it's the parents and students that are expected to sort it out.
Lots of advice, no daytrips.

ellisbell Tue 28-Jun-11 12:24:59

State schools locally certainly do this, but vary considerably in the amount they offer. Many students do arrange their own visits, obviously no school visits all universities. If the time you are allowed to take is very low clearly you can't visit many. Goblinchild - how many days are students allowed at your school?

webwiz Tue 28-Jun-11 13:01:46

Most universities do two open days open in June/July and one in September of which at least one will be on a saturday so it isn't necessary to take lots of time off school to visit them. DD2 was allowed 5 days as well and we used one for midweek open day and another two for post application day visits to departments when she actually had offers from them. We did more visits than that but they were in school holidays/weekends.

Her school also does trips to a higher education fair at a local university and a regional oxbridge day. They used to do a trip to UEA which is about 90 miles away but the timing of the day didn't work out very well with that one and the travel so they don't do that any more.

drcrab Tue 28-Jun-11 20:39:26

Yes universities tend to do 2/3 open days a year. We have one next weekend and another in October or so. I've never really seen bus loads of students but then again I'm based at the dept so even if there were bus loads of students from same school they wouldn't all descend onto the one dept at the same time.
Some dept do outreach programmes to nearby schools. Some schools invite dept to hold taster sessions for their students.

ellisbell Tue 28-Jun-11 21:50:06

quite a few of those we've looked at do one day a year, not always on a Saturday.

GnomeDePlume Mon 04-Jul-11 20:58:56

This might be worth looking at:

opendays.com/

ellisbell Tue 05-Jul-11 09:52:59

been reading it all year. Doesn't help with Oxford and October will be too late

emsies Tue 05-Jul-11 10:53:29

If you want to apply to Oxford its sometimes worth contacting either the department or college directly as they will often happily find a student to show you around. Will certainly give you a feel for the place.

mrswoodentop Tue 05-Jul-11 21:49:54

Oxford have an open day on Thursday ,if you Email they may still have space.Details on the opendays website mentioned earlier ,you need to browse the calendar.Cambridge have quite a few in the first couple of weeks in Sept

Yellowstone Thu 07-Jul-11 08:57:19

ellis it sounds as if your DC is in Y12 in which case it's surprising s/he hasn't been given more advice if s/he's interested in Oxford.

DS1 is up there now with a busload from his school, staying overnight in different colleges. The annual Open Days are this week each year, Tues/ Wed or Wed/ Thurs. They're big events and well publicized on the website, I'd have thought all schools would be aware.

ellisbell Thu 07-Jul-11 18:01:41

being aware and allowing time to visit/ arranging trips are not the same. Yellowstone how much time off does your DS get and do their school arrange any other trips?

mrswoodentop Thu 07-Jul-11 21:40:42

Not yellowstone but my son is in yr 12 and they can have as much time as they like for visits.Most do as many as they can at weekends but have also done several weekdays ds did one yesterday and one last fri for example.They did one trip with school in March to the local Uni and some go to Cambridge with the school in Sept.

It's really up to them to organise their visits though school don 't get involved

Yellowstone Thu 07-Jul-11 22:57:29

ellis my kids get two school days off to visit unis but the Oxford trip is exempt.

I took my eldest three to my old uni way back, when they were in Y11, 9 and 8. Apart from that they only went on the Oxford trip. DS1 is #4 DC.

They made their choices based on web sites, paper prospectuses, school advice, general reputation and geographical location. Visits are great if you can do them and afford them but lots of kids can't. They aren't make or break I shouldn't think.

ellisbell Sat 09-Jul-11 10:01:58

While I agree that websites, prospectuses and virtual tours are very good they don't substitute for meeting and talking to lecturers and students. For those that can't afford it it's best to save your money for visiting the universities who make offers. As we can afford to visit unis we do so as often as possible, on Saturday when we can. We have had something from each visit that we wouldn't get any other way, although it may not always have been worth the cost of the visit.

If you plan ahead visits can often be done with cheap train tickets.

sandripples Sun 10-Jul-11 12:22:02

I should have siad in my earlier post that my DCS have been to a comprehensive. School arranged a trip to Oxbridge this year and also to York and teachers encouraged some pupils to apply for various short taster courses which I think are very good too eg Headstart, days in particular departments, Sutton Trust if appropriate.

Having said that I think if the student can manage to organise some of this themselves, its even beetr - helps their iniative and develeopment. I don't that schools houldn't organise things, they should. But if your DC can research things on-line and apply themslevs its great and I think they feel ownership of it all. One parents talk I attended a few years ago said parents should not attend open days as the process of student travelling alone and managing their day is part of growing up.

It s abit geographically challenging isn't it, depending on where you live. We are up in the NW so its not quite so easy to nip into London or Oxbridge for example.

ellisbell Sun 10-Jul-11 17:15:26

yes where you live can make a big difference. Some of my children's friends have limits set by their parents on how far they can go. We have noticed that the geographically isolated universities often have slightly lower admission requirements.

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