UCAS Convention (without the sixth form school/college)(13 Posts)
I saw an older thread where someone asked this but that was for a convention the school was taking the students to, so: do any parents go to UCAS conventions or is that weird? DS' school isn't taking them so he's booked on it independently and said he's happy for my company since I don't think any if his mates are going (they don't seem to be thinking about uni yet but are in year 12). DS knows there are some uni's that he might consider but wouldn't be able to attend their open days as they seem to be on the same dates or are too far away to travel to all of them. He was planning to have a chat with them at the UCAS convention so I'm hoping you'll all say that a UCAS convention was useful for your DCs. DS said he'd be happy for me to come for company but I'm not sure if I'd stick out like an old sore thumb.
My DDs school did not take them to this and she definitely would not have choosen her university at this event. I think you and your DS really should look at the open days (although he is really late to be getting onto those) - there might be some spaces left. There are more in September usually.
You cannot get a feel for the city, campus, teaching facilities, staff, the accommodation or the university itself by talking to, essentially, marketing people, at a convention. Not every university will be there anyway. If you have some time to give to this process, you can organise your own days at the universities. Just email them and see what dates they can give. Making a short list helps with the process too. A long weekend after AS levels might work.
Totally agree with PP. We went to look at 12 which is way too many to look at but DS was a bit of a pain last year when attending open days!!
Good Luck, it's a hectic time!
The UCAS website says "Who goes to UCAS conventions? Students. Mostly those in their first year of sixth form or college - as well as key influencers like parents, guardians, teachers, and advisers."
So UCAS are expecting you and don't mind you turning up. If none of DS's mates are going, then he shouldn't care about others (i.e. strangers) seeing you. If necessary, you can always make yourself scarce for a bit if he wants to chat to exhibitors.
I went with ds because his college wasn't organising anything. I didn't stick out at all and he found it really useful and came out bursting with enthusiasm.
He knew which stands he wanted to visit so it was very straightforward especially as there was a map on the ucas site setting out which stands were where. I was very impressed at the questions he was asking and did wonder if it was really my ds who is usually rather monosyllabic. On the basis of talking to the reps there, he cancelled one of his open days so only going to 5 now (with around 11 slightly different courses to consider) Only one uni on his list wasn't there. There is a list on ucas of which unis are due to attend which convention.
I really would endorse what milly says about trying to visit the places if at all possible. Ds had a potential clash but one of the unis was also doing an open day in September so he's considering going if he hasn't already decided by the summer hols. He seems to be going somewhere almost every weekend over the next month or so and the nearest is still over 3 hours away but looking beyond the brochures and sales pitches is really important. One of the things being checked out on the open days is checking none of the places smell like school did.
Dd says there were parents at hers. She says it was good because she knew who she wanted to see and knew what to ask. She also says let your dc. do the asking
I know that any of my kids will stay longer and ask more questions at an event like this if they have company with them. Being by themselves does not make them inclined to wander and linger. So, yes, go
He might be able to count some universities in or out by getting more specific course information. If he doesn't manage to visit everywhere he's interested in before applying, there are usually days for offer holders in the spring of y13. My dd1 didn't find these to be an awful lot more informative than the open days she went to, so in retrospect, doing both wasn't essential.
Thanks everyone for your advice. It's all been really helpful. DS is booked into 2 open days this month and is planning to go to some in the autumn. However, others clash or are on consecutive days but are on opposite sides of the country. He was hoping to at least talk to a few of the ones that clash so that he can maybe strike them off his list of about 10. He's got Newcastle on the list but can't make their open day so I'll try the suggestion of a self guided tour when we go to Durham. We live far away so I'm driving him there the day before and I've never been to Newcastle so now's my chance.
Forgot to say: I will go to the UCAS convention to keep him company.
unis welcome visitors on non-open days too-if you contact Newcastle I am sure you can arrange to talk to an admissions person when you are there.We found the non open day visits really helpful!
We contacted Durham for a visit on a non-open day. It is worthwhile and they do understand clashes occur. Useful there to look at the few colleges. We also had a chat with the admissions tutor in DD's prospective department. Newcastle can easily be done at the same time. The East Coast train goes to both if that is any help.
meant to say "the few colleges he might be interested in".
Thanks, twenty & milly. I'll contact the admissions dept and the head of the dept for his course. It would be great if he could meet with at least one if them.
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