Oxford University Undergraduate Open Days give visitors a taste of life at Oxford

25 June 2015

Thousands of prospective undergraduate applicants and their families will be visiting Oxford on Wednesday 1 July and Thursday 2 July as Oxford’s colleges and departments open their doors. Open Days are held each year to allow those interested in applying to the University to visit Oxford and learn more about the undergraduate courses, the colleges and the University in general. All colleges and departments will be putting on events, along with the University’s museums, libraries and other facilities. Many will host drop-in sessions and tours for prospective students and parents, giving visitors the chance to talk to tutors and current students.

The Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach team will run an Open Day Information Centre at the Examination Schools in the High Street where student services such as Student Fees and Funding and Careers will be on hand to give advice. There will be afternoon talks for students and parents, as well as a separate discussion group for teachers. The Oxford University Student Union will also be at the Centre offering a taste of student life together with a selection of the 400 clubs and societies currently available to Oxford undergraduates – including the University Sports Centre. Information points will be staffed by University staff volunteers on Radcliffe Square and at the corner of Parks Road and South Parks road in the University’s Science Area.

Dr. Samina Khan, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach at Oxford, said: “We know that open days are a key factor in a student’s choice of university so we work very hard to show students, parents and teachers all that the University and city of Oxford have to offer. A key part of this is doing our best to be a good neighbour to all those who live and work in the city by working to minimise disruption for all and ensure our visitors see Oxford as a welcoming place through the eyes of excited prospective students, parents and teachers.”

Helen Charlesworth, Head of Enquiries and Marketing at Oxford University, says: “We really look forward to welcoming visitors to open days and letting them see how the friendly, welcoming college communities enhance the university experience. It’s particularly important that students from as wide a range of backgrounds and schools as possible get a chance to see life at Oxford up close, to see what it’s really like.

“Many students may think Oxford is unattainable, or ‘not a place for someone like me’ until they actually get a chance to meet current students and tutors and see what it’s like to study and live here as part of a college community. It’s also a wonderful chance for people who live here to show off their city and University. We hope that everyone enjoys the days.”

Thousands of visitors attended the Open Days last year and large numbers are expected for the upcoming event. In anticipation of the events, Oxford University has been working closely with the county and city councils, transport providers and traders to ensure the days run smoothly and that local businesses are poised to take advantage of the extra trading opportunities generated by the surge in visitors.

The University is doing its utmost to keep the local community and commuters informed about the days as it is important that residents are prepared for the increased numbers of visitors and travellers on public transport. The exact number of visitors is unknown, but if last year is anything to go by, it is likely to be more than 7,000 people.
More information can be found at www.ox.ac.uk/opendays

For more information please contact Julia Paolitto in the News Office, University of Oxford on +44 (0)1865 280531 or julia.paolitto@admin.ox.ac.uk

Notes to editors:

Oxford is doing its utmost to keep the local community informed and aware of the day’s events and the potential opportunities, and the University has taken the following steps to ensure the days run smoothly for everyone:

  • The University is liaising with the County Council’s traffic management team, the city council, and local bus companies in order to keep traffic flowing and the Park & Rides running smoothly.
  • The Oxford Bus Company has worked with the undergraduate admissions team to alert their regular travellers, supplement the Park & Ride bus timetable and lay on extra staff over the two days in July.
  • The admissions team have arranged the presence of University staff volunteers at the railway station and Park & Ride car parks to ensure visitors are welcomed and helped to find their way quickly. Local taxi companies have also been informed.
  • The undergraduate admissions team has written to all businesses in Little Clarendon Street, St Giles, and other city centre areas such as Broad Street, Turl Street and the High Street.
  • The admissions team has emailed the Chamber of Commerce and admissions representatives have briefed staff at the Tourist Information Office.
  • Open day publications are encouraging visitors to visit local restaurants and coffee shops during the day.

Notes to those travelling into Oxford:

  • If you are coming by car please note that parking in Oxford can be difficult, especially on busy open days, and so we strongly recommend that you use one of Oxford's Park & Ride schemes.
  • Given the additional volume of traffic, as well as disruption from extensive local roadworks, please allow extra time for your journey.
  • Please avoid Seacourt Park & Ride, as it tends to fill up early in the morning. Redbridge to the south, or Pear Tree or Water Eaton to the north, should have more capacity.
  • Be aware that the city centre will be unusually busy, with several thousand extra visitors expected. Local business owners may want to make the most of the opportunity for extra business by ordering stock accordingly.
  • For more travel information please see: http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/open-days-outreach/open-events-and-visiting/planning-your-open-day-visit/travel-advice