The Ontario Universities’ Fair (OUF) is one of the most important dates on the annual recruiting calendar, but like other events drawing huge crowds, it has been cancelled due to COVID-19.
The largest post-secondary fair in North America, which typically takes place in downtown Toronto at the end of each September, attracts more than 130,000 prospective students and their families annually.
Each Ontario university is represented and works in collaboration with the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) to bring the trade show style event to life, with online and virtual alternatives now being explored.
Matt Melnyk, Director of Student Recruitment at Brock, says the cancellation is another opportunity for the University to showcase its unique and highly sought-after student experience in a resilient and creative way.
“We were able to persevere in offering prospective students and their families a successful Virtual Open House, and we plan to continue to adapt to deliver an authentic look at what the Brock experience is,” he says. “I’m confident that we’ll be able to continue adjusting to this new landscape from how quickly we were able to pivot this spring.”
In addition to the virtual campus tour, Virtual Open House and engaging with prospective students online , the Recruitment team is also developing ways to participate in larger-scale virtual meetings with high schools to conduct presentations in the fall.
Each year, a number of Brock community members enthusiastically represent the University at OUF, including a handful who have attended the event annually for more than a decade.
“We’re experimenting with different scenarios so we’re still as available to prospective students as possible,” says Melnyk. “We’re grateful for all the support we’ve received from the Brock community to help translate what’s typically an in-person experience to online”
He says that in addition to cancelled milestone events such as prom and high school graduation, prospective students are also grappling with the fact that their first semester of university won’t roll out the way they envisioned.
“It’s understandable that students are concerned about what a fall start will look like, particularly because their high school experience ended in such an unexpected way ,” says Melnyk.
However, he says that there couldn’t be a better time to work towards obtaining a university degree, and to study at Brock.
“Typically, if students are choosing to wait to pursue post-secondary education, they’re spending their gap year working or travelling, and those opportunities are limited at the moment,” he says. “Getting a university education isn’t just a great investment of your time; it’s a great investment for your future and gaining a competitive edge in the job market for when things do eventually recover.”
Anyone from the Brock community interested in sharing content and information for ongoing Recruitment purposes is encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org