This is why open evenings are more important than you think

Lauryn Berry·19 March 2021·4 min read
This is why open evenings are more important than you think

We’ve all seen them, the advertisements for Open evenings or various other shindigs and soirées. But have you really considered just how beneficial they might be?

If you’re wrapping up your final year of university and are seriously considering postgraduate study, attending the open evenings at the universities you’re interested in could make all the difference.

Here’s what really goes down at open evenings.

What is an open evening?

Open evenings are free events held by universities in which prospective students get the chance to talk to staff, current students, and sometimes alumni too. They are especially important for those who are undecided about what courses they would like to apply for, or are struggling with the application process itself.

Due to Covid-19, some UK universities are now offering virtual open evenings which make them more accessible than ever, as you can learn everything you need to know about courses and applications from the comfort of your own couch!


Even though open evenings are casual events (even more casual in the new virtual form) it doesn’t hurt to read up on the courses you’re interested in, and the university’s reputation, ahead of time. Some universities send out guides or information packs to students that sign up for open evenings. These might hold timetables, speakers’ names and all the subjects, topics and courses which will be addressed. Make sure you know which talks you would like to attend ahead of time and maybe write down the questions you would like to ask staff or students.

Live chats, Talks and Q&As

So, what do virtual open evenings look like? The most common platforms you might come across are live chat rooms and talks. The chat rooms are usually reserved for asking questions, while the talks may take the form of presentations from faculty members. Either way, make the most of this virtual occasion by multi-tasking! Having these events online means that you can actually watch one talk, while participating in a couple of chat rooms at the same time. This way, if you’re interested in multiple courses you can “be in two places at the same time."

Key information you don’t want to miss

But isn’t everything already on the course page provided by the university? Short answer, no. Attending an open evening might give you some unique information and give you an advantage when it comes to applications and interviews. If you can ask faculty members to tell you what they are looking for in a candidate or what they expect in an application or interview, you might find some useful tips that will give you an edge. Or better yet, if you’re too shy or scared to ask a question, someone else probably will! The beauty of communal chat rooms is that you can see previous answers to questions without necessarily having to ask your own.

The take-aways

Of course you might walk away from an open evening even more confused than you were going into it. However, more often than not, students actually learn more about a course through these interactive events than they can through a static website. You might decide this isn’t the course for you or that it is everything you have dreamed of and more.

Take this time to really invest in making your personal and academic life excel and attend a couple of open evenings!

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