Frequently Asked Questions
When should my son/daughter start thinking about university?
Applications to UCAS, the organisation which administers university applications, can be made from the beginning of September onwards in Year 13. During Year 12, it’s a good idea to be doing research about where to study and to be attending university open days and Higher Education Fairs in order to minimise disruption in Year 13. Of course, you’ve probably been thinking about things long before this when you helped choose Sixth Form/College options. Year 11 Options Evenings often offer the opportunity to speak to local universities about the entry requirements for particular courses and the prospectuses usually contain contact details. Do get in touch with universities for advice if you need information on which course or subject to follow with a view to applying for a particular degree.
Can parents attend Open Days at universities?
Parents are very welcome at open days but do bear in mind that it is the student who is hoping to go, not you! Encourage your son or daughter to ask the questions and to determine whether or not it is the course and the place for them. Some universities have separate activities for parents, but wherever you choose to visit, there will be plenty going on for everyone: try to plan beforehand in order to fit everything in. Normally you have to book onto open days so make sure your son or daughter has done this. Open days can involve a lot of walking - be prepared for this, and do inform the university if you have any access or mobility requirements.
If my son or daughter lives at home, will they get the same experience as those who live away?
A large number of students choose to attend university whilst living at home these days; at Huddersfield, more than 30% of our students do this, so if your son or daughter opts to do the same, they will not be on their own. There will be plenty of central activities going on and they may be able to join in with social events in some halls of residence as well. Studying-wise, living at home will make no difference at all.
What should my son or daughter take with them to university?
It depends where they are living and what is provided, so make sure you find out beforehand. Some halls of residence provide cooking utensils and cutlery but this may not always be the case. Some provide a bedding pack (at a cost) whilst others require you to bring your own. Information on what to bring for enrolment should be on the university’s website or sent to the new student, as should information on documentation needed to register at the Health Centre, which is always recommended. The department itself will issue a reading list and any other requirements but it is wise to wait until you have arrived at university to determine which books are needed immediately and which can be obtained from the library, bought second-hand or shared. PC/laptop facilities should be investigated and also access to the internet. Items from home to brighten up a room are always a good idea – posters, photographs, cushions etc. – and visitors will always be welcome if they bring a food parcel with them! It is also helpful for the student to have enough money to tide them over the first week, as any student loan and/or grant will not be triggered until they enrol, so could take a few days to arrive in their bank account. Finally, ensure they have their phone topped up or access to e-mails so that they can easily communicate with you and vice versa.
What if my son or daughter becomes homesick?
Going to a new place and meeting new people can be quite scary and sometimes a settling in period is needed. It is all part of the experience though and you will be amazed how quickly they make friends and become part of the university community. There is plenty of help available on campus, if needed, including academic tutors, faith support and counselling. But they do have to ask for it and that’s where you may need to ‘encourage’ them.
When and how are tuition fees paid?
Nobody has to pay up-front tuition fees whilst at university for a full-time undergraduate degree. See our general section on Fees and Financial support for Year specific information.
What happens if my son or daughter can’t attend a university Open Day?
Don’t worry - contact the university department which offers the course that your son/daughter is interested in, and they may be able to offer you a departmental visit instead. But do make sure your son/daughter visits their universities of choice at some point, preferably before applying.
How can we get more information locally?
The college or school your son/daughter attends will have careers staff and tutors who can give advice, and also may run information evenings and/or careers fairs which university representatives attend. The school may also organise visits to UCAS Fairs, which offer the opportunity to gather information from, and to talk to a large number of universities. Your local university should also be able to help you.