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Author Topic: Free train tickets to university open day  (Read 2143 times)
grahame
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« on: July 13, 2019, 07:18:44 am »

From the BBC

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A railway company is to offer free train tickets to all students going to a university's open day.

West Midlands Railway will provide free travel to the University of Worcester this autumn.

It follows warnings that disadvantaged families were not able to go to open days because of travel costs.

Anne-Marie Canning, director of social mobility at King's College London, said rail fares had become a major barrier to widening access to university.

Are rail fares to open days really putting students off visiting potential distant places of higher education such that their choices are changed?

These open days are just a single event which potentially set the scene and help make decisions for 3 or 4 years of journeys at (say) 6 single journeys a year ... and also set the scene for major other expenditure.   Is a free return trip really going to make the difference to bring the education that the students want to them?

West Midlands Railway is a franchise that (if I read the name right!) runs trains in the West Midlands.  Are the free tickets offered just within that franchise area - so from places as far afield as Hereford, Shrewsbury, Rugeley, Leamington Spa / perhaps expanded with the linked LNWR branded lines to London and Liverpool?    What about students looking to visit from Swansea or Portsmouth or Plymouth (or Hull or Sunderland or Motherwell) ... ?

I wonder if I smell a marketing opportunity more than real long term help?

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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2019, 01:32:35 pm »

It seems entirely likely that the vast majority of potential Worcester Polytechnic ( Grin) freshers wishing to visit the establishment could be in possession of a 16-25 railcard so with a bit of planning the trip would hardly break the bank (without much effort I found plenty of PAD-WOS 20 out / 14 back combinations for one of the appropriate days). 
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chuffed
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2019, 08:16:32 pm »

As a student of Worcester College of Education 1972-76, they left out the fact that the main campus was, and still is at Henwick.... a 40 minute walk or 2 buses from Shrub Hill or a 20 minute walk and 1 bus from Foregate Street/Angel Place.
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eightonedee
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2019, 10:05:15 pm »

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I wonder if I smell a marketing opportunity more than real long term help?

If it brings rail travel to the attention of youngsters and gets them into the habit of using rail transport, it sounds like a "win-win" to me.

Let's hope the TOCs and all HE institutions get together to make this a nationwide scheme for all prospective students
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WelshBluebird
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2019, 04:32:14 pm »

Are rail fares to open days really putting students off visiting potential distant places of higher education such that their choices are changed?

These open days are just a single event which potentially set the scene and help make decisions for 3 or 4 years of journeys at (say) 6 single journeys a year ... and also set the scene for major other expenditure.   Is a free return trip really going to make the difference to bring the education that the students want to them?

When you apply for 3-5 universities, and fares to get to them can easily total in the hundreds of pounds once you add it all up, I'd say it is a very costly endeavour and very much can affect someone's choices!
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2019, 03:23:01 pm »

Bear in mind that whereas in my and probably your day it was normal for prospective students to attend open days, interviews, etc, on their own, it's now standard for parents to accompany them. The reasons for and other effects of this trend are not for this thread but clearly there's an impact on travel cost.
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