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When is it too early to attend university open days?
36

Comefromaway · 18/07/2019 13:01

Is the end of Year 10/start of Year 11 way too early or is it good to start early because of fitting everything in during the firsy year of 6th Form/college?

I emailed Surrey about a specific aspect of their entrance requirements for Btec students (as ds is currently deciding what course to follow after GCSE's next year) and they responded and also invited him to an open day in the autumn but I'm wondering if it's really worth it yet. (Don't think we can afford for him to live in Guildford anyway but wondering about visiting Liverpool or Salford)

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Parsley65 · 18/07/2019 13:58

Hi.
I think its a bit soon yet, but ten out of ten for enthusiasm Grin
We're starting in September once we have DD's GCSE results. There's nothing stopping you from doing LOTS of research in the meantime though, so when the time comes you're fully prepared. Good luck!

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Benes · 18/07/2019 14:01

They're generally aimed at year 12's and above but they may have some specific events aimed at pre-16's.

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GrouchoMrx · 18/07/2019 14:27

First students need to narrow down what they would like to study and, after that, it is a question of deciding where they would like to study.

It is well worthwhile attending the open day of universities local to you as it allows the student to start looking at degree courses and deciding what they would like to study. The longer students take to come to this important decision, the better and less stressful it is.

Only when they have decided what they would like to study is it worth the cost and effort of making a journey cross-country to look at universities where they might like to study. I would recommend leaving these visits to later.

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Comefromaway · 18/07/2019 14:43

He knows exactly what he wants to study and will be applying for a Btec course in that specific area.

We have a spreadsheet of approximately 15-18 potential courses which has been narrowed down to around 10 favourites.

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Comefromaway · 18/07/2019 14:45

He also says that wherever he studies MUST be located in a city or at a push a large town.

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Comefromaway · 18/07/2019 14:48

Longlist so far is:

Guildhall, Surrey, Liverpool, Salford, Hull, Huddersfield (though not sure about location), Leeds Beckett, Nottingham, Chester, Birmingam C, Oxford Brookes, De Montford, Chester

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titchy · 18/07/2019 15:03

That's quite a range - music tech? Offers will vary hugely - check what his grades are likely to be first. No point in putting Nottingham down if they want 3 x Dstar and he's a DMM applicant.

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Comefromaway · 18/07/2019 15:12

Very clever! And creative music tech/composition rather than sound engineering/acoustics/production/pop music (though there is some crossover). And he loves music theory but not essay writing.

Nottingham is very aspirational and not his favourite DDD I think. Liverpool is a great course, lower grades DDM but want Grade 8. Surrey is higher grades but oly want Grade 5 theory. Salford is lower grades DMM but have fantastic industry links. Guildhall only take 5 students per year and admissi9on is based pretty much solely on a portfolio

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ErrolTheDragon · 18/07/2019 17:19

DD had a look at a few after GCSEs. It sounds like your DS would find open days interesting and useful now - I'd imagine his is a subject where equipment etc is quite important so looking around is valuable.

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TheFirstOHN · 18/07/2019 18:34

It can be difficult to fit 5-6 open days into one season at the end of Y12 / beginning of Y13, especially if they are doing an early application (school deadline in September). Some of the universities only hold open days on one weekend in June / July, and these often clash with each other.

DS2 visited three places a year 'early' (end of Y11 / beginning of Y12). Two of them ended up on his list of places to apply to.

Some people on here feel very strongly that no one under Y12 should attend an open day, as space in talks etc is limited. DS2 didn't visit them again the following year, so didn't have an impact on numbers attending.

DS2 went to the Oxford open day at the end of Y11, and it's a good thing he did, because the following year he was unavailable on those days (qualified for a place at a summer school in the first week of July). Attending the open day helped him to make an informed decision that he didn't want to apply there after all.

If they already know what they want to study, and have an idea of how high they can aim, it's reasonable to attend some open days in Y11 instead of Y12.

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TheFirstOHN · 18/07/2019 18:42

Comefromaway
In terms of choosing which universities to apply to, next year would be more useful. However, visiting one this year might boost aspirations / motivation and help him to visualise what he is aiming towards.

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titchy · 18/07/2019 18:53

Looking at your list can you spend a weekend in one of the places and have look round the city plus one or two nearby ones?

Salford would/should be very high on his list so you could combine a trip there with a day in Liverpool, or Huddersfield - suspect a day in the latter will remove it from the list!

Industry experience will be vital so again I'd prioritise ones offering this.

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Comefromaway · 18/07/2019 19:42

We go to Manchester fairly often. We are only about an hour away by car or train. And dh works not too far away from Liverpool.

Huddersfield sounds a bit grotty in terms of student accommodation etc but it’s got industry accreditation.

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Comefromaway · 18/07/2019 19:44

The first - yes, that’s sort of what I’m hoping. SENDCO said this week they know he’s biding time there until he can go off and do his music!

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RobertSmithdoesmyhair · 18/07/2019 19:50

That's way too many to consider visiting! Your head won't be able to take everything in and you will be very confused about which to choose!
We narrowed it down to 4 and visited just those. Even 4 felt like a lot! I'd advise you to reduce your options. Too much choice can be detrimental!

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stucknoue · 18/07/2019 19:58

After GCSEs is a good time though we did do the higher ed regional open day in March of year 11 as it was nearby and allowed them to talk to every university in one place. I took mine to our local university open day to show them what it's like initially then in year 12 did several

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Piggywaspushed · 18/07/2019 20:03

Huddersfield accommodation is really nice!

I taught a student who ended up at Birmingham but he very nearly went with Huddersfield. It has an excellent reputation for music. My visit to Huddersfield didn't put me off especially!

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2gorgeousboys · 18/07/2019 20:07

I don't know much about the courses mentioned but DS1 has just finished his first year at Huddersfield and loves it. The student accommodation at Storthes Hall whilst out town, is nice and it's surrounded by lots or green space. The uni campus itself is lovely.

I'd recommend going to look around.

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Comefromaway · 18/07/2019 20:11

Isn’t Storthes a bit of a party halls? Back in my day I know Huddersfield had an excellent reputation for music, especially early music. It was often a back up choice for those who didn’t get conservatoire.

Ds has autism which is a factor in anything. He has to feel comfortable in a place. I do agree the long list is too many to visit and it will be whittled down a bit.

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Piggywaspushed · 18/07/2019 20:20

You don't have to be at Storthes. There is accommodation now very near the uni owned by partnership providers. It's modern and nice.

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ErrolTheDragon · 18/07/2019 20:25

That's way too many to consider visiting! Your head won't be able to take everything in and you will be very confused about which to choose!

Not if they're spaced out over a couple of years and the early summer/autumn open days. I think DD did 11 in total, she wasn't confused at all. While that may have been more than strictly necessary it ruled some out which looked good on paper, and ruled in the one she's at which she'd thought she wouldn't apply to originally, went out of curiosity to some extent. If you can afford the time and money and enjoy it, no reason not to go to as many as you want. But not nor should you got to more than you (ie the student) wants.

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titchy · 18/07/2019 21:55

Ds has autism which is a factor in anything

That has to be your priority - get in contact with the student services disability offices at each on the shortlist and ask what they can offer in terms of support, and how students with ASD generally get on.

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TheFirstOHN · 18/07/2019 22:17

get in contact with the student services disability offices at each on the shortlist and ask what they can offer in terms of support

DS2 emailed six universities on his shortlist to ask some specific questions about support for students on the autism spectrum. The variation in responses was quite illuminating.

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Boyskeepswinging · 21/07/2019 10:44

I also think it's helpful to visit before you choose your A levels to inform that decision. If I had a penny for every Y13 kid I've met at an Open Day who is beside themselves to discover they should have taken A level Maths to study Economics ... This way (a) you know if the course is right for you and (b) what you need to get into the course.

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ErrolTheDragon · 21/07/2019 12:26

I also think it's helpful to visit before you choose your A levels to inform that decision. If I had a penny for every Y13 kid I've met at an Open Day who is beside themselves to discover they should have taken A level Maths to study Economics ... This way (a) you know if the course is right for you and (b) what you need to get into the course.

A sensible precursor to both a level selection and open day visits is simply take a good look at websites for courses that may be of interest. It's really easy to find course requirements nowadays. You wouldn't have to look at many, just a small cross section see if they're all saying maths, or chemistry or whatever are required or highly desirable.

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