Last Saturday I visited Bradford University as they were holding the first of their open days for prospective students.
It is fair to say that Bradford as a city does not have a glorious reputation as a scenic place and to some extent the university is also tarred with this brush. However, after I parked just outside the university I made my way across the campus amongst contemporary buildings and some lovely trees and flowers in full autumnal colour. It is surprising what a different feel this gives to the campus.
The exhibition was being held in “The Atrium” next to the main entrance to the university, and I have to confess it has never been one of my favourite buildings, cold in winter and like a greenhouse in summer. Moreover, they could never really decide what the “look” inside should be and therefore, always looked in a state of “we are half way there.”
Anyway, to my surprise the displays by each of the faculties had been set up and it looked really impressive, very professional indeed.
I stayed for a couple of hours and took the opportunity to visit several faculty stands to discuss student recruitment, retention and employment opportunities after completion of studies.
Many of the stands had both professional staff and current students providing information and advice for visitors, I had a lengthy discussion with an exceptionally knowledgeable young female student on the Optometry stand who was extolling the virus of the Bradford course, remarkable as she was an “incomer” from Leeds!
I also managed to take in a quick visit to the School of Management stand and had a quick chat to a colleague who had participated in the “mock interview” programme for students last year (along with myself) and which I will be doing again in about 4 weeks time.
It was good to see young people accompanied by parents (usually map in hand) negotiating their way first, around the campus and then the various faculty stands with eager tutors in full “selling mode”.
Eventually, I took my leave of the atrium and made my way back across campus, passing a steady stream of prospective students with parents in tow (parents be warned, it comes with the package of having kids!).