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University Open Days in 2022

2nd March 2022

 by Emma McGuinness (Level 7 careers advisor)

As with so many things, the pandemic caused a change in how universities conducted their open days and for students considering university in 2020 and 2021, not being able to visit university campuses was a big loss. However, the switch to virtual open days was also a big leap for accessibility and students could access live tours and events from the comforts of home with no financial cost and a reduced investment of time. 

What’s happening with open days in 2022? 

Fast forward to today and most universities have not returned fully to in-person events.  Instead, many are providing a mix of virtual events and in-person campus tours.  The message is that students will need to check individual universities carefully to find out what is on offer. 

Some, such as The University of Exeter, has announced a return to in-person open days. These will take place in May and June this year but students can also access their online open day page. Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester will also be holding a traditional in-person open afternoon on Wednesday 9th March.  

Others, such as the University of Bristol, are offering a combination of virtual open day events followed up by in-person offer holder days which are invite-only. This is also a popular combination at other competitive universities, including the University of St Andrew's and the University of Durham.    

What types of events are on offer? 

  1. In-person Open Days  

These events are held at the university in person, where prospective students can meet current students, department staff, get a tour of the campus and visit accommodation. These events usually provide the most in-depth and interactive experience.  

  1. Taster Days  

Taster Days - also sometimes referred to as Information Events or Subject/Course/Department Open Days -are either a full day or morning or afternoon session, giving students the opportunity to find out about the specific subject they are hoping to study with the chance to ask questions, meet students and talk to teaching staff.  These events are particularly useful to gain subject insights prior to writing personal statements and faculty staff may be able to provide guidance on what they are looking for.  Do ask! 

  1. In-person student-led campus tours 

Here prospective applicants can look around the campus in person, guided by current students. These are a good way to find out what student life is really like and what the university offers beyond academic study. The downside is that tours usually don’t provide opportunities to visit specific departments or courses. 

  1. Offer holder days 

These invite-only events for students holding an offer from the university enable prospective students to take part in some course-specific activities and spend time with current students, leaders and faculty staff.  Another great opportunity to ask questions about the course, accommodation, scholarships and more. 

  1. Pre-recorded virtual events 

Recordings of previous open days which can be watched at any time are a very easy way to get a flavour of the university, although these don’t provide the opportunity to interact and ask questions. Recorded campus tours can also give a sense of the university campus and sometimes the wider location – city, town etc. 

  1. Live virtual Open days 

These online events usually happen in real-time and do give the opportunity to interact and ask questions.  

How to plan for Open Days and other university events? 

As each individual university could be offering a different combination of online or in-person events and, as these are likely to fall into fairly similar categories, but not always with the same name, some detective work may be required!  

OpenDays.com is a great place to find out what is on offer from universities this year and whether an event is in person or online. For taster days have a look at Uni Taster Days.  Individual university websites will have information and it’s a good idea to follow a university's Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feed for updates.  

Finally, to make the most of online or in-person events, it’s best to come well prepared. What Uni? and UCAS both have a useful series of articles as well some downloadable question lists for different areas of university life including accommodation, daily costs, societies, sports, course specifics and future career opportunities. 

Enjoy and make the most of it!