Open days are an increasingly important part of university recruitment, research by YouthSight has shown, allowing students to ‘try before they buy’.

In 2007/08, just over a third of students said that open days were ‘very important’ in helping them decide on where to study. By 2017/18, that figure had jumped to almost a half. Recognising their importance in helping prospective students make a big life choice, West Midlands Railway is even offering free trips to anyone attending a university open day in the region this year.

When the new generation of students is acutely aware that they’re paying more for university than any before them, their expectations and priorities are shifting but what is the focus for an open day? Meeting the lecturers? Checking out what societies are on offer? Sampling the coffee?

According to EAB, it’s the campus itself that students are the most keen to investigate, citing it as more important than both academic reputation and cost in attracting students.

Read our piece on campus design here.

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