Just one week to go until our first visit afternoon for offer holders on Wednesday 28th. There has been a good uptake but there are still a few places left on this date and the subsequent Wednesday, December 5th. All offer holders are invited.
Our goal for these visits is simple: we want you to get a quick taste of life as an undergraduate here. This includes a short sample lecture on autopilot controls and a tour of our lab facilities hosted by staff members from our three technical disciplines: aerodynamics; structures and materials; and dynamics and control.
Visitors also get a slot to talk one-to-one with academic staff members. We call this academic speed-dating, because that's what it most resembles. It was an experiment last year and I feared at first that it might turn out to be awkward. However, our staff are a talkative bunch and seem endlessly able to find common interests with the visitors, so it's worked out well - our problem now is dragging visitors away when it's time for the next part of the itinerary.
Last but most important, there will be lots of our current students around to talk to, plus time when we leave you alone with them. That's not meant to sound sinister: rather, the point is for you to be confident that you get uninhibited opinions on student life. I met last Wednesday with this year's student helpers, who span from our second year to our final year and don't seem particularly inhibited anyway, so that shouldn't be a problem. They are your best source of information about the student experience, so please feel free to ask them about anything from academic workload to social life.
We have over one hundred offers out already and more in the pipeline, so we hope to see many of you signing up for Wednesdays soon. Places are limited - it gets congested on the lab tours otherwise - so please register as soon as you can. We do make an effort to make this a much more detailed event than we can provide at the University-wide Open Days.
Applications seem healthy. After a large initial surge, arrival rates have leveled a little and we're now about 10% up on this time last year. This means we are still being somewhat cautious on offer making, so if you have yet to hear a decision, please bear with us.