University Tips Blog
A group of students enjoying a university open day
A headshot image of the author, Alexandra Roberts

by Alexandra Roberts

Senior Student Recruitment Officer – Welsh Medium and Widening Participation at the University of South Wales

posted on 30 Nov '23

A guide to university event targeting – why are certain events only available for certain schools and students?

You may be asking yourself why, amongst a university’s outreach offering, there are specific events for students from certain backgrounds or with certain characteristics.

Universities host a range of events throughout the year, from open days, to information, advice, and guidance (IAG) talks, to applicant days and subject-specific events. The aim of every university is to ensure that the most up-to- date and applicable information gets to the right people. It is for that reason, that bespoke activity is planned throughout the year to support applicants who may have additional queries when making their university choices.

These events cover specific information with regards to additional support and funding options for these groups. For instance, a university may host an open event for SEN students, where the programme is designed to be specifically welcoming and considers the needs of that group. The event may also share information on Disabled Students Allowance applications and entitlement, as well as additional support offered by the university.

To best support these students, it is important that any additional needs, care leaver status or caring responsibilities are disclosed while completing UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) applications, so that universities can put the correct level of support in place from the start. It is important to also stress that disclosing these will not have a detrimental effect on the applicant’s consideration for the course.

Event targetting

Universities may also target their events around groups of students who are statistically identified as underrepresented in higher education or disadvantaged in accessing education. These events will aim to raise aspiration, inform, and demolish any barriers these students may perceive in their journey towards a higher education qualification.

Each university will have its own scholarships and bursaries for specific groups, and it is important that those that are eligible are aware of them. There are also additional external funding opportunities in some cases and universities play an important role in signposting students towards these.

Through targeted events, universities acknowledge that for some students, additional support may ensure that the student feels more confident when navigating the application process. Fundamentally, some students will need different information than their peers because of their circumstances. That is why universities offer bespoke events that address the needs of diverse groups of students.

Universities aim to accommodate as many groups as possible in their outreach, be that by specifically designing a targeted event or by adapting the mainstream outreach and campus activity so that it is as accessible as possible for all, some even offering travel bursaries to support attendance at open days. That said, if you have not found the event you are looking for on a university webpage, but you feel that your students require tailored information or additional guidance, then why not contact universities’ schools and colleges or widening participation and outreach teams who will be delighted to support you.

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