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Choosing where to study

Parents and university open days

As a parent, there are several things you can do to make sure your child benefits from the experience.

Mother and daughter looking at a laptop


CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: With campus visits currently on hold, see our tips and advice for attending virtual open days.


Should you go with your child to a university open day?

You can, but it isn’t essential. Your child should take the lead when visiting universities as they’ll be the ones studying, and maybe living there. If you do go, be there for support, but make sure you take a step back.

How can you help as a parent on a university open day?

There are a number of things you can do to help your child get the most out of an open day.

  • Prompt them to book visits and decide which talks and tours they’d like to attend when they’re there
  • Encourage them to think about questions they might want to ask
  • Help organise transport to get there on time – team up with other parents if their child will be attending the same open day and take chauffeuring in turns
  • Have a plan – think in advance about what you want to look out for (e.g. standard of accommodation)
  • With two of you, you can plan to see things separately and cover more than if you do everything together
  • If there’s a queue, save time by securing a place while your child is looking at something else
  • Attend lectures designed for parents – this will give you a chance to ask any questions you have
  • Take notes of anything important in case your child forgets
  • Stay objective – you can give your opinion but remember that your child's thoughts are more important than yours in this case
  • Stay in the background and try not to embarrass them in front of university staff and other visitors.

Most importantly, be supportive and positive. The role of the parent on open days is to be passive but helpful when needed.

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