At our connect2 academic user groups in early July, customers were enthusiastic to share experiences on how open days could be structured to best effect when enticing students to apply for media-related courses. With planning for undergraduate open days set to ramp up again in a few weeks’ time, we’re sharing the collective wisdom gained from the raft of open days staged and supported.
Of course, open days remain incredibly important as universities look to maintain or increase student numbers, especially with some institutions seeing declines in some media subjects. We should mention that such dips are often offset with increased admissions in those disciplines riding a current wave of popularity, for example, courses that build digital media skills in VR and gaming technologies are certainly getting a lot of interest at present.
Even still, the pressure is definitely on to make the most of any open day opportunity. Universities want to demonstrate how they provide the best prospects for starting a creative industries career and they can really get their message across to an open day audience.
For media subjects, the equipment available for use is often a key part of the syllabus, with many courses having a highly practical element. Open days are immensely important as prospective students are unlikely to fully appreciate what a university’s equipment and studios represent both in monetary value and the skills development supported. While a glossy prospectus and website can cover this to some degree, it’s only by seeing and, where feasible, handling the equipment that prospective students begin to appreciate just how impressive the kit really is...