Students experiences with open days and why they matter

Unique, peer-to-peer advocacy and engagement tool

We surveyed over 1,000 students to understand their perceptions of university open days and how valuable they are in their decision-making process. Focusing on the experiences of current undergraduates, this report reveals interesting and actionable insights you can use to drive attendance to your open days and increase satisfaction from applicants.

This report looked into a range of themes including the impact open days had on student’s perceptions, what students wish they knew before applying to university and what the students who didn’t attend an open day based their decision on.

We found a huge 82% of students strongly agreed or agreed open days changed the way they saw the university they applied to; demonstrating they are a key tool for conversion and reassuring applicants they will make the right decision (66% strongly agreed or agreed they felt reassured they would settle in quickly).

Students revealed most of the information provided by their schools and colleges in those early engagement years focused on the university application process. With 89% receiving support about how to apply to university, 86% receiving support when writing their personal statement and 63% stating they were encouraged to attend a university open day.

We found, to make open days better, students required more interaction with current students (78% strongly agreed or agreed) and they would like more visibility of the campus and a window into the student lifestyle (63% strongly agreed or agreed).

Of those students that made a decision without attending an open day, 79% relied on the university’s reputation and 52% relied on the location and commute from home.

Key takeaways include:

  • The distance students are willing to travel for an open day
  • Factors to improve the open day experience
  • The relevance of open days – 92% found open days very helpful or helpful
  • Interest in using virtual open days instead of travelling to an open day – 67% of students had never used a virtual open day
  • Early engagement information about what students wanted to know before attending an open day

Read the full findings here.