As a student, I have attended UCAS fairs and also worked at HE fairs, so I have seen the event from both sides. I personally think it’s great to attend UCAS fairs to ask questions, get a feel for different uni’s, plus it allows you to consider Universities you didn’t even know existed!
As an AS level student attending a UCAS fair, I had no idea of what to expect, I assumed it would be similar to a job fair (which it was in some ways), but what I didn’t expect was the number of universities that were there. I am the first in my family to attend university, so I’d never really had anyone to talk to that had experienced university first hand apart from my teachers. As I attended a fair in Sheffield, I was expecting it to be all of the standard universities I’d heard of from around my area of the country, so I was so shocked to see that there were so many more universities from all around the UK there. It was at this UCAS fair that I first found out about the University of Essex, which was not a university I’d previously considered.
After obtaining numberous prospectuses, I explored my many options and realised that narrowing my UCAS choice to 5 choices was going to be a much harder decision than first anticipated. I’d been unleashed to so many possibilities, I’m so glad that I attended – without this I would not be in the position I am in today and may not even have know about all of the other universities around the country!
As an ambassador that has worked at a HE fair (higher education fair), it was nice to be able to talk to students about university life, as well as informing them about my university and the courses we offer.
However, whilst I was there I noticed that some students were much more prepared than others and I realised that the key to enjoying a UCAS fair and getting the most from the experience is to have some pre-prepared questions and know what subject areas you are interested in (more than one is fine).
The kinds of questions that are good to ask are: Do you do the course I want?(quite often this is displayed on banners so it may save you time by being observant, but remember not all courses may be displayed); What are the entry requirements? What is the student life like? Although these are basic questions, by asking them you will be engaging with the member of staff and they’ll be able to give you lots of helpful information about things you may not even have considered.
I hope you find this post useful and feel free to leave any comments you have about UCAS fairs 🙂