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The Importance of Prospectuses, Open Days and questions to ask

The Importance of Prospectuses, Open Days and questions to ask

When I was looking into universities, I decided to attend a UCAS fair, here I went around picking up prospectuses. Half of me being interested in the uni and the other half of me just wanting the freebies. Who would say no to free phone poppers, sunglasses, pens and notepads?

Later that day, I sat in my living room surrounded by the prospectuses and no idea really where to start, however this is the process I used that got me to picking the course and uni for me - BNU.

High Wycombe Gateway building at BNU

1. Find where your interests lie and have a think, what career do you want?

2. Go through and highlight the courses that interested you and then put those prospectuses in a pile. The other prospectuses can go into a recycle pile.

3. Go back through and properly read through the course to see what they offer – Compare the courses!

4. Repeat your two pile system

5. Look at the bigger picture - employability rates from the course after graduation, Students’ Union, location, Mental Health and Wellbeing support – Check all the things that are important to you.

6. Submit your choices to UCAS.

After all of this, I was down to around 5 or 6 universities and different courses I was still interested in. So, I then submitted my choices to UCAS. Once you’ve done this the universities get informed by UCAS and you then start to receive your offers. You can then book on to an Open Day. If you’re still not sure where you want to go, an open day is the best thing to go to before you confirm your offers.

Here’s some top tips that I wish I had had back in 2017 when surrounded by all the choices. As well as things I’ve learnt from leading future’s days for schools.

South Wing of High Wycombe Campus

Don’t get 40 million prospectuses at a UCAS fair

I say that out of experience. It gets heavy to haul around for the day and you won’t need them all. Research while you are there. Ask the people at the university stand about the courses, they are there to chat and help you make the best decision you can for your future career. The number of prospectuses I recycled after the fair that didn’t even have a course that I liked was more than I care to admit.

Prospectuses show the best bits of the universities

So do your research after the fair or reading the prospectus. Why is that university ranked where it is for that course etc? Talk to the students at that university, there is normally a platform to do so on the university’s website. Go to the open days and see the campus and lecturers to see if it is for you.

Go to Open Days or Applicant visit Days

I booked onto three Open Days and went to two. I visited BNU after I had visited another university. After seeing Buckinghamshire New University and all it had to offer, I decided that it was the place for me, therefore it would be a waste of time going to an Open Day at another uni. Open Days are your way to get a feel for the university and see everything they have to offer. You can get campus tours, talk to the lecturers and students, see the location and facilities and even get accommodation tours (and of course, get more freebies)

Four fashion design students looking at a wall with their work on

In my final year of university, I led campus tours for potential students. We were the first university to start offering them again after lockdown and it was great to be on campus showing off why I originally came to this university.

My final piece of advice is that you should ask all the questions. If you think it is a stupid question, it isn’t. This is a big step for your future so don’t hold back!