CAO 2020: WIT ‘Try’ helps students to make better choices

CAO 2020: WIT ‘Try’ helps students to make better choices

Waterford Institute of Technology is expecting over 1,000 prospective students to pass through their doors as part of their expanded ‘Try’ events this year, which give participants real life experience of a huge range of courses from Nursing, Theatre Studies and Languages to Law, Engineering and Architecture.

Such is the demand that some events — e.g. Architecture — will be run again in the coming months.

WIT Try events differ from college open days as it’s all about giving students a real-life sense of what it’s like to actually study on the course.

“It gives students a better insight into the course so they can decide if it is — or isn’t — for them,” says Olive O’Connor, WIT marketing and communications manager.

Informative events

Try Nursing is run over two days and involves a lot of practical work, while in the Try Business event, there are four disciplines in the department — and all of the participants get to experience each one.

In Try Architecture, the students are given something to build and consider, while in Try Law they are given a case to work on.

Try Nursing was the first of these events and ran successfully for a number of years before the scheme grew organically two years ago to include other courses.

Now there are 16 different subjects available for students to try, with five more in the pipeline. Events like these are a great way for students to make more informed choices, and it is unfortunate that they are not more widely available.

Olive O’Connor explains why this is the case.

The reason these events aren’t widely available is that they are hard to run and you need the buy-in of the academic staff. We are lucky here at WIT as enthusiastic academic staff generate the content. We help with the booking but the academic staff run the event.

Getting a realistic picture of what’s involved in a particular course can not only help students make better, more informed choices, but it is also hoped that it will help with retention rates. All third level institutions struggle with high first-year drop out rates.

So far 750 participants have come to WIT Try events for this year, with more 200 due in the coming weeks.

Due to the level of demand, a number of extra events are due to be held, which will easily bring the number of participants to over 1,000. That’s about half of the college’s entire first year intake, which stands at 2,100 students.

To attend a Try event costs €15 to €20. The initial events were free, but WIT quickly learned that things that come free are often not valued. Events would be booked out but when the time came half of the people wouldn’t turn up.

Now, WIT have put a value on these events of €15 to €20 — money which is used to pay for materials, lunches and ‘free stuff’, making it a cost neutral enterprise.

It also means that only people with a genuine interest in a subject area are likely to sign up, pay for and show up at a Try event.

Another Waterford Institute of Technology initiative aimed at improving retention rates among first years is currently being piloted in secondary schools in the South East region.

Try Events at WIT 2019/20

  • Try Music: Finished.
  • Try Nursing:Finished (two events).
  • Try Computers: Finished
  • Architecture: Finished.
  • Leaving Cert Music Day:Finished.
  • Try Social Sciences:Finished.
  • Try Law: Finished.
  • Try Business: Finished.
  • Try Hotel: Finished.
  • Try Science: Finished.
  • Try Languages: Finished.
  • Try Gaeilge: Thursday,January 9.
  • Try EngineeringTechnology: Wednesday,January 22.
  • Try Theatre Studies:Friday, February 7.
  • Try Sport: Friday,February 21.
  • Try Art: Wednesday,February 26.
  • Events in the pipeline:

  • Try Design
  • Try Arts
  • Try Horticulture (possibly two events — Kildalton and Botanic Gardens)
  • Try Architecture(second event)
  • Try Accounting(to coincide with WIT Spring Open event on Saturday, March 28.
  • The breakdown of Try events applicants

  • Try EngineeringTechnology: 23% female.
  • Try Computers:20% female.
  • Try Architecture:70% female
  • Try Law: 64% female.
  • Try Sport:almost 50:50 split.
  • Try Art: majority female.
  • Try Nursing:majority female.
  • For updates in WIT Try events: www.wit.ie/events

    More on this topic

    CA0 2020: ITs gain new powers to make awardsCA0 2020: ITs gain new powers to make awards

    CAO 2020: 3,000 new places open to studentsCAO 2020: 3,000 new places open to students

    CAO 2020: Women in STEM still a fine balanceCAO 2020: Women in STEM still a fine balance

    CAO 2020: How to decide if a college is a good matchCAO 2020: How to decide if a college is a good match

    More in this Section

    Cork to host International Mixed Ability Rugby World Tournament Cork to host International Mixed Ability Rugby World Tournament

    Irish trawlers face being locked out of UK waters under new billIrish trawlers face being locked out of UK waters under new bill

    British Airways suspends all flights to China amid coronavirus outbreakBritish Airways suspends all flights to China amid coronavirus outbreak

    Devolved nations will have say in Brexit trade talks, says GoveDevolved nations will have say in Brexit trade talks, says Gove


    Lifestyle

    The duo are hosting a new Netflix competition show, putting designers through their paces.Next In Fashion: Why Alexa Chung and Tan France are style icons

    Fresh water no filter: #instagood.The 10 most Instagrammed lakes in the world

    A stay at tranquil hideaway The Residence is an indulgent way to unwind, rest and recuperate, says Sophie Goodall.Why this luxurious Turkish resort is the ultimate sanctuary for wellness and relaxation

    The benefits of cutting down on booze can last way beyond the new year. Lauren Taylor finds out more about strategies to help make the change stick.Beyond Dry January: Is it time to reassess our relationship with alcohol in the longer term?

    More From The Irish Examiner