91% of students said their parents were helpful during their Open Day experience highlighting an opportunity to better prepare and engage parents in supporting their son or daughter’s journey.
In addition to practical help with travel, the most important ways parents are helpful are by attending lectures, so they knew what the course would be about (63% of students agreed), sharing their child’s excitement about the Open Day experience (63%), and helping their child think of questions to ask (58%).
1. Engage with parents before the Open Day
A third of students said parents could be more helpful by reading up on the course information before the Open Day. When sharing comms encourage students to get their parents involved with reading Open Day information and course specifics to collaborate on questions to ask on the day.
2. Get parents excited
Getting parents as excited as their child about your university in the run up to the Open Day will boost both their overall experiences and make you stand out from the crowd.
3. Have separate talks just for parents
Students value parental support but need to feel independent. Having separate opportunities and events just for parents’ gives students much-needed space to imagine themselves at the university whilst keeping the parents included.
Giving parents a chance to voice any concerns or questions is important and this is a great way to gauge parent sentiment and understand their requirements and if they differ to their child’s. This can also be a good time for applicants to meet with current students as we found 78% of students would improve the impact of open days by having more interaction with current students.
4. Consider a parent newsletter
A newsletter to keep parents in the loop of any changes at the university and to address any concerns is useful. Especially if their child is making a move far from home, keeping parents up to date can reassure them that this university is the right choice.
Parents can bring a practical perspective to the day and tend to ask different questions. Some may be fronting the cash to help their child through university and will want to know what they’re investing in. Including parents whilst allowing students, their own time to make discoveries at an Open Day is the way to go.