Do parents attend uni open days?

(101 Posts)
ifonly4 Mon 05-Mar-18 15:13:19

DD is quite capable (or at least she should be as she'll have to deal with everything herself away from home) of registration for events during the day, asking questions and help, but I'd like to be there and feel it's useful as I know what they've said to her. Is it usual for parents to attend open days?

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ifonly4 Mon 05-Mar-18 15:14:15

Also, do some apply blind for courses, ie without visiting the uni? DD doesn't live with us, so it's going to be hard to get her to all possibilities.

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OhMyGodTheyKilledKenny Mon 05-Mar-18 15:17:32

Yes IME most young people have a parent with them, some take both!

DD went to her first one with a friend adamant that you don't take parents, but after that asked me to go with her as she realised it was actually the norm to take your mum or dad.

Hellsbellscockleshells Mon 05-Mar-18 15:17:59

Most definitely parents attend Open days at Uni’s. Sometimes at some institutions students attend separate events at some points in the day and parents have the chance to talk to support staff if they have any questions about funding or support if the student has disabilities ill health or enjoy a coffee or snack and look around get a feel for the place.
As someone who works in HE it’s equally important to make a great impression with both prospective students and parents.

NancyJoan Mon 05-Mar-18 15:18:07

In my experience, which is with nieces and friends, not yet my own DC, Some students go alone, or with a friend or two, some go with parents. I went to a couple with DN, I was certainly not the only ‘parent’ there.

I think it’s usual to visit as many as you can, but poss not every one.

lils888 Mon 05-Mar-18 15:19:16

I'm a mature student with kids and still brought my mummy along for my PHD open evening.

I wasn't the only one either grin

billybagpuss Mon 05-Mar-18 15:19:32

There will be a lot of parents there, I went to some, they went alone to others. It can be useful as everyone remembers different things. Yes some people apply blind, you can always go to an offers day later if necessary before making the final decision. Also much less busy.


OhMyGodTheyKilledKenny Mon 05-Mar-18 15:19:54

Oh and yes 2 of the unis she's applied for she didn't go to their open days. It was only when she ruled out some that we visited that she added the other 2 but we're making a point of looking round the city and uni when she goes for interview.

RedPandaMama Mon 05-Mar-18 15:21:53

When I started uni 5 years ago, my parents came to most open days with me (4 or 5), one I went to with a friend and another one I went alone. The one alone was awkward, I'd say 80% of people had a parent or guardian type person with them, and the rest were with friends. I didn't see anyone else alone. It was fine but I just felt a bit out of place like I was orphaned or something! In reality my parents were actually away for their anniversary grin

gillybeanz Mon 05-Mar-18 15:22:23

We will be going with dd when she is older, but only as support, driving her around, saving her a bit of money.
Will also take the opportunity to meet friends who will be no doubt teching her on her course.
If it didn't concern us, she'd be on her own as her siblings were, but this is a different case as we are able to help with more info and understand how it works/ inside knowledge.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Mon 05-Mar-18 15:23:13

I’d say 90% of potential students have their parents with them on the open days.

WhatToDoAboutThis2017 Mon 05-Mar-18 15:23:31

Yes, I went with my parents, although I apparently looked too young to be going to university as they spent the day asking my not-young mum what degree she was interested in as a mature student and ignoring me hmm

It’s been well over a decade and I’m still pissed off about it grin

PilarTernera Mon 05-Mar-18 15:29:10

Yes, t is usual for parents to attend open days. Most prospective students are there with parents.

My dd went to some open days with me or dp and some with friends. Parents were second choice, if no friends were available grin

There were two unis she was definite about applying and did not attend open days. She visited on the offer holder days for her department in the spring.

FakeMews Mon 05-Mar-18 15:33:41

There are also "offer days" held in the spring. So if you haven't managed to get to an open day there is a second chance when you are holding an offer. I didn't go to all the open days because DC went to some with school and some alone but I did go to most of the offer days.

SoupDragon Mon 05-Mar-18 16:15:31

I didn’t go to any with DS1 (he’s in his first year). He didn’t ask me to although he knew I’d go if he wanted me to.

ifonly4 Mon 05-Mar-18 16:26:18

Thanks, she's home next weekend so we're going to one close by, certainly wouldn't be her first choice but hopefully will give her something to think about and learn from, when considering other unis.

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BubblesBuddy Mon 05-Mar-18 17:20:04

DD1 applied to 2 she hadn’t visited and DD2 also applied to 2 she hadn’t visited. Both knew where they really wanted to be so didn’t need to go to loads. We visited one as a private visit because she could not get to an open day. She boarded and they were allowed to visit 3.

Going to offer days can be helpful. It was one she hadn’t visited for an open day but the course was different from the others being an undergrad Masters. She ruled it out after the visit though.

I would go to parent talks and have a look round. Sometimes parents are too keen and have had to be asked to leave prospective student talks because not all the prospective students can get into the room. (I am looking at Exeter parents!) So don’t be over invested. Go where it’s reasonable to do so. Get lunch together and have a quick look round at accommodation and the university area if you can. You don’t really need to go to sample lecturers or and activities for students only. Just be there as a sounding board, for advice and logistics!

Boarding school students often get a train and go as a group. They seem to be very independent of parents.

Needmoresleep Mon 05-Mar-18 17:27:57

It must depend on course. DD went to a couple of local universities (on her own) which helped her understand what options might be available. She did not visit the Universities she later applied to but this did not matter as she knew they would interview before offering places.

It can be nice to go especially if your DC is likely to face some difficult choices. But don't worry if you can't.

goodbyestranger Mon 05-Mar-18 19:06:30

Well all seven of my DC applied 'blind', with the exception of a school sponsored visit to their top choice. 'Blind' is a misnomer since a lot of DC will know the reputation of unis if they're at schools which send plenty of kids to that uni, and the websites are generally excellent in informing DC. Their school only allowed two days off for visits anyway so the trip to their top choice gobbled that up. One of mine went to two offer days but I didn't go and it seemed completely fine.

HSMMaCM Mon 05-Mar-18 21:21:49

We went with DD. She didn't visit any before applying, because she only decided to go at the last minute! So we went to offer holder days, rather than open days. We tried to just be transport and ears and left her to decide what to see, ask all the questions etc.

Skiiltan Tue 06-Mar-18 15:44:41

It's pretty common for parents to attend open days with prospective students. We'd generally prefer they didn't, because so many parents will dominate staff time: they will ask questions instead of letting their son/daughter ask, and will often push other (unaccompanied) students out of the way. It gives us a bad impression of the student if her/his mother asks lots of questions while she/he stands back and doesn't join in.

I think it's useful for parents to hear what's said at open days, and to see facilities, accommodation, etc. But students really need to be asking questions for themselves, and many won't do this in front of their parents.

quartermooninatencenttown Tue 06-Mar-18 18:10:12

We went to quite a few last year. Interestingly the one she liked best was Keele - not as 'slick' as some of the others but friendly and informative. Useful too to go and see a real campus uni.

TheRagingGirl Fri 16-Mar-18 10:31:16

I would go to parent talks and have a look round. Sometimes parents are too keen and have had to be asked to leave prospective student talks because not all the prospective students can get into the room. (I am looking at Exeter parents!) So don’t be over invested

Excellent advice!

It has only recently been usual for parents to attend with intending applicants. And sometimes we (academic staff) wish they would stand back just a bit. I get very tired of talking to an intending applicant whose eager parent keeps speaking for her: it's a jugging act to stay polite to the parent, but focus on the intending applicant.

So please remember it's your DC's degree, not yours.

We also put on a lot of events for parents - this costs us resources (money, time, space). Please understand that some talks are for applicants, and we have to ensure that applicants (ie your DCs) can all get into the room before we let those accompanying them in. And please try to stay polite to the staff asking you politely to step back (I have had angry parents in my face - at a very "naice" university. Not good).

Also if you do attend subject talks, it's not a good look to try to catch out the lecturer. We are usually giving up a Saturday - unpaid. It actually can cost us in extra childcare, travel, food etc, none of which is reimbursed. I do not respect the showing-off parent trying to make out that I'm either a) selling snake oil; or b) don't really know what I'm talking about; or c) am not up to teaching their genius DC.

And yes, I've had all those said to me, by parents.

What can be useful is the parent as silent note-taker, or sounding board. But it is your DC's degree, so let them talk & ask the questions! Please.

TheRagingGirl Fri 16-Mar-18 10:32:45

ut students really need to be asking questions for themselves, and many won't do this in front of their parents.

I see this at Every.Single.Open.Day. And sometimes the DC will come back to me without the parent to ask what they really wanted to know.

I really really doesn't help. Truly it doesn't.

Nettleskeins Fri 16-Mar-18 20:40:12

I think it is fair enough for parents to ask lots of questions about accommodation, and what the profile is of various blocks, party central or otherwise, how difficult it is to combine living far away from main campus with that particular course (ie music or nursing) I don't see that students would necessarily think of these things, or alternatively they might assume they have to live right next to the campus not realising that a 25 min walk is perfectly doable (if everyone else is doing it) and they are wasting money to have an ensuite on campus etc. I don't think my son would ask any of these questions to students already there, but I did.

I agree that all the course questions should be left to the students and I would never go to any of the taster lectures or specific subject talks.

But if you have never been to uni, and there is a vast selection of unis to choose from, surely a bit of parental overview does no harm? Went to one, felt it was way over son's head, he liked it, high offer, I was able to say with sincerity it wasn't the place for him, and a relief that it was out of the running. Whereas otherwise I think he might just have felt disappointment and I wouldn't have known why it had not really shown much interest in him as a candidate. But visiting, and hearing the talks, I felt I understood why it was the wrong place for him, both academically and pastorally. (and as it happens it took bloody ages to get there, so not even convenient despite nominally an hour from our home)

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