Deciding where to go to university is one of the biggest decisions a college student will make in their academic career. With so many options to consider from location to degree programme, sorting through all the choices can feel overwhelming. This is where university fairs can make a huge difference by bringing all the information together in one place.
What are University Fairs?
University fairs provide the opportunity for students to meet with representatives from various universities across the UK. The fairs usually take place at large venues like conference halls or arenas, with booths set up for each attending university.
At these booths, university reps provide brochures and promotional materials while answering any questions students may have about their particular school. Prospective students can learn about degree programmes offered, campus life, enrolment requirements, tuition fees and financial aid options.
Most fairs also host informative panels and seminars students can attend to dive deeper into relevant topics like writing admissions essays or applying for student finance. Along with the wealth of information provided, attending a university fair often includes fun freebies and prize draws that brands use to attract student interest.
When to Attend Fairs
The ideal time for students to attend university fairs is in Year 12 and Year 13 when they are considering various options for after college study. However, attending a fair even earlier can help students identify if university is the right path for them after secondary school.
The majority of fairs take place between September to December, aligning with the timelines of submitting university applications through UCAS by January. However, smaller fairs may occur year-round, making it possible to still benefit from personal interactions even if a student missed the main autumn fair schedule.
No two fairs are exactly alike, with some tailored specifically to art, design, tech, or other specialisations while others offer a broader overview. Checking what each fair will offer ensures students can find the right fit for their interests and maximise time investment.
Getting the Most from Fairs
Simply showing up to a university fair guarantees gaining access to more information in a few hours than weeks spent only researching online. However, adequate trip preparation and planning ensures students make the most of the unique opportunity. Follow these top tips for university fair success:
Research Attending Universities
First, investigate what universities will have booths at the fair. Browse through their websites to shortlist top choices that seem to align well with interests and academic objectives. Make note of any pressing questions to ask reps at their booth.
Bring plenty of copies of transcripts, reference letters and any other relevant certificates or accomplishments. University reps may review documents or help determine eligibility for certain degree programmes or scholarships on the spot.
Treat a university fair as any other professional networking event and dress appropriately. A polished, put together appearance makes a strong first impression on university reps that could eventually review university applications.
Bring a Bag
Fairs involve collecting loads of pamphlets and other university swag. Bringing a large bag ensures students don’t miss out on helpful info simply because they couldn’t carry everything easily. Backpacks work well for substantial storage room.
Jot down key takeaways from each university booth including degree options, enrolment dates, rep names and contact info and any other stand out info specific to each school. These notes will come in handy when following up with university reps or making application decisions later on.
Craft an Elevator Pitch
Don’t get caught tongue tied! Prepare a quick elevator pitch that states name, current school, areas of academic interest and plans after completing university. Reps will appreciate the upfront insights when engaging in conversation.
Collect business cards or email addresses for university reps you really connect with during conversations. Follow up within a week of the fair to ask any additional questions or continue a positive dialogue.
Have top questions already prepared so conversations stay focused on concerns that really matter instead of small talk. Know what extra info is needed to determine if a university aligns with academic aims and career aspirations or not.
Snap some pics of top choice booths to remember key details about each university when looking back at all the options later on. Photos also come in handy when posting university fair highlights on social media.
Attend Seminars and Panels
Make time for seminars and panels relevant to application requirements at top choice universities. Soaking up insider tips could provide a critical advantage later during the highly competitive admissions process.
Bring Friends Along
Coordinating a university fair outing with friends considering higher education makes the experience more enjoyable and productive. Friends can split up to cover more booths then share intel and literature. Plus, safety comes in groups when events are extremely crowded.
Corral Teachers to Chaperone
For secondary school groups attending fairs, arrange for teachers to join as chaperones. Their insights could prove invaluable when weighing how academic offerings align with student strengths and passions. Teachers may suggest perfect course matches students overlooked solo.
Benefits of School Minibus Leasing
While individual students can certainly travel to university fairs solo or in small groups, attending as part of an organised school or college group often provides added value. By coordinating travel for a larger contingent coming from the same area, more pupils can benefit from the networking and informational opportunities the fairs offer in a single day. Arranging affordable transportation for big groups is where school minibus leasing proves extremely convenient. Leased minibuses kept by the school keep all students together in one vehicle instead of complicating matters by coordinating many family cars. Relying on parents’ unpredictable schedules also gets avoided.
Compared to cramming numerous students into a few standard vehicles with minimal comfort, modern leased minibuses allow room to stretch out and socialise during transit, often with amenities like reclining seats, entertainment systems and Wi-Fi. Streamlining group travel into one leased minibus can significantly reduce petrol, toll and parking costs compared to fuelling up many private family cars. Experienced national minibus lease companies maintain modern, safety-inspected fleet vehicles far less likely to breakdown than aging family cars making long round trips. And, with a professional driver provided by the school or college behind the wheel, students stay focused discussing university options freely without distraction from parents or siblings altering conversation dynamics.
School minibus providers also offer varied vehicle sizes with ample seating capacities, allowing schools to select group transportation matched to the exact university fair attendee numbers. When looking to enrich the further education insights students gain, while simplifying travel logistics, school minibus leasing delivers comfort, savings, focus and reliability all in one solution.
Attending university fairs serves as a rite of passage for college-bound students across the UK. With adept preparation and planning, students can make the absolute most of the unique access university fairs offer to intel that shapes life-defining decisions on degree programs and universities. From researching attending schools to dressing professionally and collecting business cards, following key tips positions students to get their most pressing questions answered. Then, beyond informational gains, students build positive visibility with university reps through memorable conversations that could bolster admission chances down the line.