The importance of Open Days for care-experienced young people

With the application process for UCAS well underway, some people are likely to be in the final stages or have already completed it. For others, however, there may still be much to do.

One of the key things is picking the right institutions to apply to. For those who haven’t already decided, Open Days are an excellent way to view a campus and choose between the huge variety of options available. With limited dates and the difficulties of arranging transport as a care-experienced person, how can you find the information you need to know about a prospective place of study?

Often a foster carer of personal advisor will have some means of arranging for Open Day transport, but this might not always be the case. One of the lesser-known options is that some higher education providers can help with transport costs for care-experienced students to visit their campuses. To find out what support is available for your chosen institution, contacting the care-leaver contact is the best way forward. They can often tell you what support there is for Open Days as well as the support throughout your study, a question we would recommend asking at any provider you are considering.

In addition to physical Open Days, many institutions now offer them virtually. These are often live events with talks from varying academic and support departments and can provide valuable insight into what is on offer. If you are still looking to decide, some institutions will have finished their Open Day schedule for this year. The virtual events are often recorded, however, which means you can access the relevant information even if you missed the original event.

As an organisation, Go Higher West Yorkshire regularly interacts with HE providers, and each care-leaver contact we’ve spoken to has been welcoming and genuinely keen to support care-experienced students. Contacting a care-leaver contact is an excellent step to make in your journey of choosing a provider and they could be a valuable contact throughout your studies.

While late in the process, there is still time to decide on where to apply and getting access to the information is vital. Now that you know how to get access to Open Days, the UCAS website offers some advice on what to look for during them. You can find out more here.

Dominic House, GHWY Care to Go Higher Delivery Officer