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Posted March 13, 2023

Are in-person and virtual open days still relevant?

Swansea University open days

Many of us remember how valuable and exciting it was to visit a university open day as an undergrad applicant. Then the pandemic came along, and all in-person open days came to a halt, and universities started hosting virtual open days.

To everyone’s delight, we have been able to enjoy seeing things return to normal (more or less) with students and visitors returning to campus. But the virtual elements we saw so much of in 2020 haven’t exactly disappeared as many universities have chosen to retain both options.

It’s no wonder that some have asked the questions…

  1. Are virtual open days still relevant if we’re no longer in a lockdown?
  2. Are in-person open days at risk of becoming obsolete if everything can just be done online?

At Swansea University, we see the value in both.

See our upcoming postgraduate events in March 2023:

Why are online open days relevant?

While some people may perceive that there is less of an appetite for in-person events now (especially for postgraduate students) if universities have become really good at providing all of their information online. After all, there shouldn’t be any reason why you can’t find entry requirements, course fees and modules details, all online.

Technology has come a long way and we’ve seen some impressive 360 virtual tours which make you feel like you’re right there in that chemistry lab (especially with the use of a VR headset). Is it really worth travelling three hours to see the campus when you can see it from your sofa (or bed)?

It’s also undeniable that virtual events have been massively helpful to international students who can’t just jump on a plane to attend a UK open day on short notice. Let’s not forgot, it’s not just the cost of travel and accommodation – it can also be the issue of dealing with visas, too.

Swansea University open days

So where does that leave in-person open days?

One feedback that Swansea University gets time and time again is that we are a very friendly university, and that is something you might not get to fully appreciate through a computer. So many times, we have heard applicants say that once they visited Swansea University, they knew that this is where they wanted to be. Not just because of the course, but because of how warm and at home they felt.

What about seeing the campus, the labs and facilities? Is a virtual tour good enough?

A Student Ambassador from Swansea University commented that the virtual tours you see online are good for a general view of the facilities, but you don’t get to see up close the specific labs you will use throughout your course. You also miss out on seeing live demonstrations of the different equipment you will use as a first, second and third year undergraduate or as a postgraduate student.

 “Yes, I want to try out the Flight Simulator please”, says every Aerospace Engineering applicant ever!

What’s the best way to talk to people in the know

With regards to speaking to lecturers, current students, graduates and professional services staff about any questions you may have about your postgraduate course, student life and what the city of Swansea is like, both in-person and virtual events remain immensely valuable.

Today, most universities have web chats, live online Q&A sessions, bookings to speak to someone one-to-one over Zoom, but don’t forget, people will be more than happy to have a chat with you over coffee if you’re on campus.

Postgraduate open days

If you’re looking to do postgraduate study, we highly encourage you to attend some of the March events at Swansea University. Whether you’re looking for the traditional in-person experience or the flexibility of participating online, we have something to suit everyone.

Postgraduate Virtual Information Session – Saturday 18th March 2023, 10.30am –12pm (GMT)

This event is a short drop-in session. We will open the session with a 30-minute presentation, providing a brief overview of postgraduate study including masters and PhD, and funding options available at Swansea University. The rest of the session will be dedicated to answering your questions live. Staff from Admissions and our Student Ambassadors will be ready to answer your questions.

Computational MSc Webinar – Friday 24th March 2023, 11.30am (GMT)

Learn about our Computational MSc programs, delivered by Professor Rubén Sevilla and Dr Vasilios Samaras, who will present about the program details, modules, projects, Year in Industry option, career opportunities and opportunity to undertake a year in Barcelona with reduced fees of £4,500 (for both Home and International students).

Postgraduate Open Evening – Wednesday 29th March 2023, 4–7pm (BST)

Visit Swansea University on campus to attend the Funding Talk, chat with support services, meet with staff and students from academic schools/departments, and take a campus tour.

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