Parents have a right to attend open days

September 15, 2016

As a parent of a child who has jointly attended several open days during this university application cycle, I find it disturbing that Mary Curnock Cook, the chief executive of Ucas, has any role to play in the university admissions process because she is clearly divorced from the realities that most families and their children face when applying to university (“Middle-class parents told to ‘butt out’ of university open days”, News, 9 September).

The privileged might not have much concern when their offspring are borrowing tens of thousands of pounds for tuition fees plus significant maintenance funds over three years. However, those of us for whom such borrowing is a major undertaking and worry will take every opportunity to visit the halls of residence and university departments that our child will attend. I want to know all the costs – of equipment, textbooks, meals, accommodation. I want to know how many contact hours will be provided.

At one open day we attended, parents were invited into a separate room where we could quiz the dean and faculty staff on any issue. This lasted for nearly an hour, and the staff provided very useful and what I felt was honest information on a variety of topics. The applicants were scheduled to meet staff in the laboratories during this time to ask their own questions.

I suggest that it is Curnock Cook who should “butt out” and leave the structure and design of open days to responsible and responsive university staff, to those who might wish to study there and to those who pay a far higher proportion of their annual income in maintaining the university system than she does.

Leopold
Via timeshighereducation.com


Send to

Letters should be sent to: THE.Letters@tesglobal.com
Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday.
View terms and conditions.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest