Blog post: advantages of virtual university tours


What are they and why you should get involved.

If you’re considering applying to a University, an open day is the place to be. You get a chance to really experience what the University and city are like and have the opportunity to see the campuses, surrounding areas, halls of residence, the facilities, and more. You also get the chance to meet the staff, learn more about the course and University as a whole and talk to some current students.

Due to the current Covid-19 limitations, visiting a University in person isn’t an option right now but that doesn’t mean you can’t still explore your options. This is where a virtual tour comes in. A virtual tour can be a great way to experience the University from the comfort of your home and ensure you don’t miss out on seeing everything you wanted. They give a 360 degree look around a room, building or area and have a lot of benefits over a photo or non-interactive video.

Here are 6 reasons why you should take advantage of University virtual tours

1. When you attend an open day, you will typically only see the campus you will be based at. For example, if you are doing an arts course, you will see the arts campus. However, in some cases, this is not the ‘main’ campus and although you will spend most of your time there, you will also want to visit the other campuses. A virtual tour is a great way to see a campus and get an idea of what it will be like without having to spend your time visiting.


2. A virtual tour can give you an idea of the size and atmosphere of a University- something that that a picture or a typical video can’t. By doing a 360 degree online tour of an area, you can really get more of a feel of what it would be like to actually visit. This means you can experience a place without ever actually having been there and therefore, it can be a far quicker and easier way to see somewhere you are interested in. People also often have preferences when it comes to things like the size of a University and where it may be based within a city and doing a tour can give you a good idea of these things before you put in the time and effort to go and visit.


3. Very often on an open day there will only be a few halls of residence open to view. This may be a problem when you’re hoping to live in one of the halls you can’t get to see or when there are multiple halls you’re considering and you simply don’t have the time to see them all. University virtual tours often include the halls of residence and can therefore give you a good idea of which one you might want to visit on an open day and the differences between them all.


4. The tours can also be a good way of finding out some facts about the different areas in a University. For example, Oxford University has information points scattered around their virtual tours where you can learn more about both the history of the area and what it is used for. There are also a lot of Universities that have tours of the local area such as the closest city centre, which can be a great way to discover what the city has to offer. If the University doesn’t have one, a quick google search will normally find someone who has uploaded one of the city.


5. Virtual tours can be very helpful to see what facilities a University has to offer. You are often told what facilities are available for people on your course but there are also a lot of other resources at University that are available to everyone. In a virtual tour the facilities, such as doctor’s surgeries, libraries and student unions are often highlighted and it’s a great way to see everything that will be available to you if you choose to study there.


6. Depending on whether you are able to attend an open day in the future, virtual tours can be a great tool to assist in making the most of an open day. Whether it is looking at the tour beforehand to help find your way around and plan ahead how you’ll schedule your day, or if it’s going back afterwards to see some bits you might have missed, having the tool available to use is hugely helpful when making a decision about a University.

Amber Mobbs, Higher Education Liaison Officer (Berkshire)