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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?

curlew Fri 13-Sep-13 18:10:18

My dd''s in year 13 and doing open days now. I've been to 1 and company and chauffeur- and will go with her to Edinburgh and St Andrews but only because I fancy a trip to Scotland

BeenFluffy Fri 13-Sep-13 17:57:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

chemenger Fri 13-Sep-13 17:03:16

I am in Scotland. I would say at least 75% of young people coming to our last open day had one or more parents with them. We ask parents to leave subject lectures to make space for potential applicants. Lots of talks about finance etc, I'm not sure who has priority at those. I do remember a time when virtually no parents attended open days and none at all at post-offer days, but those are long gone and we do cater for parents at all our events. This has made these events very much more expensive of course.
I do think that bringing your whole family for a day out (I have seen two parents, two grandparents and a younger sibling before) is not a good idea.

exoticfruits Fri 13-Sep-13 13:14:06

English ones expect the parents- they are not taking student places. Scotland will be different- it is nothing to do with independence, and all to do with tuition fees.

BeenFluffy Fri 13-Sep-13 10:26:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

2rebecca Fri 13-Sep-13 07:52:26

I hope parents going aren't taking up places on the tours and lectures. The engineering ones for Heriot Watt are full and it will be sad if that's because half the places are taken by parents. My son went to another with a friend and said 50:50 parents again so maybe fewer parents in Scotland just like we drop and leave at kids parties.

MissMarplesBloomers Mon 09-Sep-13 22:07:16

We found the Open Days were very useful for both sides DD to get a taste of what the faculty & staff are like in the subject specific workshops/talks & me for getting my head around the funding, burseries and loans etc. as I am a LP & have no extra for supplementing costs.

summerswims Mon 09-Sep-13 20:14:46

The tutor on ours gave an impressive academic talk and then referred to the fee implications of £3000 Whoops! Have unis really caught up with the real expectations of parents/students who have to fork out such huge sums - life altering sums.

Kez100 Mon 09-Sep-13 13:07:53

I think that's a good idea. The dynamics of funding have changed, so change the organisation of the Open Days to suit the new regime.

This is so new, I suppose it will take time to alter Open Days to take this into consideration. In the meantime, though, when there are not split sessions (as there haven't been on the Open Days we have been to) I do hope Universities understand a bit more and do not slate parents for involvement.

Two of the course talks that we have been on have been taken by course leaders who, coincidentally, have their own children going to University this year and applying under the new 9k per annum system. Both actually started the talks saying they appreciated parents would have a lot of questions to ask.

exoticfruits Mon 09-Sep-13 06:47:22

The useful thing is now that they expect parents they often split them into 2 groups and the parents get a different tour and talk from the students . That is a good time to ask questions and I found out a lot about finance at those sessions.

Kez100 Mon 09-Sep-13 04:45:09

I also think Universities have to realise the dynamics have changed. Parents understand the practical effect of buying yourself into an, effectively, 9% extra tax rate can mean. Most students - understandably - do not.

University is definitely still about the right course in the right place for the student but interested parents will still be relied on by the student to give true advice (not open day hard sell) and to do that, parents will need to ask questions.

exoticfruits Sun 08-Sep-13 14:39:51

I think that when you go to an Open Day you have to realise that you are just there as a sounding board and extra pair of eyes- you are not there to ask the questions and take over.

UptheChimney Sun 08-Sep-13 13:35:04

Did an Open Day last week, and most of the parents were sensible -- standing back and letting me talk to the actual applicants.

What I hate (and I think many of my colleagues feel the same) is that we end up doing a very uncomfortable sort of translation: speaking to the actual applicant, in answer to questions put to us by their parents. I feel as if I'm being rude by not speaking to the parent, but it's NOT the parent going to university!

summerswims Sun 08-Sep-13 09:01:55

Just went to an open day with my DC - I saw 98% of students with their parents. That being said we will send ours along with friends now once we have established what the degree courses are roughly about. Have been told offer days are the best to sum up a place.

Must say - unis are slick now - presentation is strong.

2rebecca Wed 28-Aug-13 08:48:58

Picked him up yesterday and he'd enjoyed himself. He said it was 50 50 with and without parents but they were excluding parents from some of the talks to allow enough places for children. He also said alot of mums were moaning there was nowhere to have coffee and he wondered why they didn't just leave their teenager and go into town for a bit.
He was trying to sort out UCAS choices last night and thinks open days make it harder to decide as he wants to go to every uni he visits as they sell them so well. He did spend a bit of time just wandering round the town and college buildings and thinks the wandering aimlessly and getting the atmosphere of the place is useful and something you might not do if part of an entourage.
He's now planning to go to a few more open days as he doesn't trust the league tables/ unistats especially as they put you higher up the table for requiring high grades, which he thinks is the wrong way round. If somewhere has high student satisfaction, good graduate employment and starting salaries after grad and only wants AABB at higher why would you want to go to the place that wants 3As at advanced higher instead if the other stats are no better?

2rebecca Tue 27-Aug-13 08:33:47

My son's going on his own. We both work and they tend to be during the week. It's doing him good having him sort out his travel arrangements and plan his timetable for the day. I'll be picking him up from one today but can't get the day off work. He's going to uni next year. If he'd gone to open days last year he'd have been looking at different subjects. He went to one with the school before they broke up for summer.
He's only going to unis he's considering applying for and only those close at hand.
I only went to one open day as a student and didn't apply to go there so don't think they're essential. They're mainly to allow you to finalise choices between unis and courses.

mumeeee Tue 27-Aug-13 00:38:37

You don't need Maths for computer science at all umiversities, DD3 looked into this.

Horsemad Tue 27-Aug-13 00:27:29

No idea. I don't think he's chosen the right A level subjects for him but he needs Maths for computer science apparently, so Maths he's doing.

Numberlock Tue 27-Aug-13 00:24:08

Bath has a good reputation for Computer Science.

Any idea what grades he's likely to get?

Horsemad Tue 27-Aug-13 00:18:47

I guess we'd manage BlackMogul smile

There's lots to get through before he ends up at uni, so we'll have to see how he gets on.

BlackMogul Tue 27-Aug-13 00:08:50

My DD2got a place at Parsons New York. We didn't visit but she was keen to apply. Before you get too excited , Parsons fees were $20,000 a semester and it was an 8 semester course.(4 years). Living expenses and flights added another $40,000 a year. Ie $80,000 a year. They awarded her a scholarship of $7,000 a year. You either have to be genius (full scholarship) or very rich to afford a USA undergraduate course and MIT will not be cheap. Tried all avenues to apply for help but as we are British we did not qualify for anything. Went to Fulbright Commission funding seminar where most parents left depressed at huge amount of money required and lack of funding available. Go abroad to do Masters. Undergrad funding is minimal. Hope you are rich!!!

Horsemad Mon 26-Aug-13 23:55:40

Doesn't matter if you're Oxbridge material or not, I guess you have to go where you'll be happiest.

I know a couple of students who've turned down Oxbridge offers!

As I mentioned earlier, the top 10 UK unis for Computer Science degree courses are all at least 100 miles from us, so it's unlikely he'll be that close anyway. In fact, today he mentioned MIT!
Now that would be a bit of a trip to visit! smile

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.

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!

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!!

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