First impressions count when recruiting students

Posted by pt91 at Feb 12, 2014 12:45 PM |
Nick Cave of the Student Recruitment Office explains that there is more to recruiting students than just Open Days

Do you remember your first day on the University of Leicester campus? Many of your students will – most will be able to recall that Open Day that convinced them to choose Leicester.

Or maybe it wasn’t an Open Day: perhaps they came to one of our taster days as part of a school trip, or a Master Class where they experienced studying one particular subject.

Most of you will probably only be aware of the Student Recruitment Office when working with us for Open Days, but we offer plenty of other opportunities to make that great first impression. One of the best ways to market your department is through the expertise and personalities of your staff, the quality of your facilities and the wonder of the University experience. We’re here to help you bring prospective applicants through your doors so they can experience that for themselves.

The flavour of university life

The university held its first Undergraduate Taster Day on 14th December 2013. With 14 undergraduate departments represented on the day, more than 450 visitors got to experience first-hand Leicester’s excellent research and teaching. Such was the popularity of the event, the Open Day on Wednesday 25th June 2014 will now be a Taster Open Day, another first for the university.

But taster activities don’t stop with the Taster Day. Student Recruitment will also be running a series of Master Classes throughout 2014, which offer prospective students the chance to experience a half day of activities based around one subject area. Aimed at year 8 and year 10 students, Master Classes are a great way to showcase your subject to a younger generation, and secure the future recruitment for your department.

What can you do?

The Student Recruitment office is currently in the process of organising the 2014 programme of UCAS Visit Days which will be running throughout February, March and April. As soon as the visit day programme finishes, preparations will begin for the general Open Day season, which kicks off with the Focus on Medicine day on Saturday 14th June 2014, followed by another 5 general open days between June-October.

With all undergraduate departments represented on open and visit days, now is the time to ask yourself what your department can do on open and visit days to appeal to prospective new students and applicants alike. Will you repeat successful activities from last year, or look for innovative new ways to promote your department? Speak to our office about your ideas and we can help put them into action.

Case study: Modern Languages did something quite different for their taster day. They ran an interpreting session in the interpreting labs in the basement of the Attenborough Tower. Students and staff from Modern Languages simulated a conference interpreting session with visitors able to listen in, followed by a meet and greet session in the Modern Languages Study Centre. This really enabled students to get a flavour of the facilities available, and the innovative style of teaching they could expect as a student here.

We also want departments who can offer 30-45 minute taster lectures as part of other school visits to campus. Schools are currently invited to book on to these events, so why not offer a taster lecture and further boost your department’s recruitment? Check the dates currently on offer on our website.

Our team would love to hear what you are planning to do, or help you come up with some fresh ideas, so please get in touch to discuss this further.

You can contact the Student Recruitment team to discuss any of these events, or other any other aspect of your departmental recruitment activity on 0116 252 2674 or email

If you have an idea for a feature on the work of your department, contact the News Centre at to discuss further.

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