Tuesday, 11 January 2011


I'm doing a little job at the university at the moment, helping them design a leaflet for the UCAS higher education fair. If you've been to university in the last ten years or so, then at some point you'll probably have been to one of these days. Universities from all over the country show up, sit behind a table for the day, and hand out prospectuses (and sometimes free pens and suchlike) to excitable 16/17 year olds who are trying to decide on their future university.

In the event, this design isn't going to be used, so I figured I'd share it with you here, as I quite like it. I was thinking about when I went to one of these fairs, and also later when I went on various different open days (And I went on quite a few...) how intimidated but excited I was by all the big university buildings, and I guess the idea behind this design was to simply represent this choice that the visitors to the fair are faced with.

The leaflet itself will have a map of the campus where the event is being held, a map of the conference hall, and a list of the institutions attending.
This is an initial drawing I did...

And here it is with some type for the cover. (It also had logos for UCAS, Uni of Brighton and HELOA, but for the purposes of this blog I took them off, because I thought they kind of ruined it. :D)

Of course, it's interesting to note that this year the fair may well have quite a different atmosphere to the one I visited about 5 years ago. The young people attending may have much less of the excitement about their future that I had, and many more questions about whether university is even within their means.

This year almost all universities have seen record numbers of applications for places. (I was in the admissions office at Brighton uni today and I saw the huge stacks of forms!) As this is the last year before the potential fee increases, both A-level students finishing this year, and those who finished last year and failed to get a place are desperately scrambling to get onto courses, because next year they may not be able to afford it.

This fair which happens in April will be attended by young people who are facing the prospect of paying as much as £9000 a year for their university courses, and for some universities such as Oxford and Cambridge, perhaps substantially more.

This is not a political blog, so I'm not going to write down a long rant about my feelings on this, but suffice to say I'm feeling very fortunate I have done the university experience already, and I have great sympathy for families and students now faced with difficult decisions about the future.

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