student on a laptop

@HopwoodHall College is celebrating following the success of its first ever Virtual Open Event.

In what was one of the first events of its kind – not just in Greater Manchester, but throughout the country – prospective students were given their first exciting glimpse of college life. Unlike previous open days though, they were attending from the comfort of their own homes.

The event began when droves of future learners flocked to a specially designed microsite as it went live on Thursday 21st May. It soon became clear that just a few short weeks of promotion had been enough to capture the imaginations of so many.

Those in attendance had the amazing opportunity to delve into everything that’s on offer at Hopwood Hall College, including Full-time and Part-time courses, Access and Higher Education, Flexible Learning, and Apprenticeships. The content was there to both inspire and inform.

Anyone with questions was just a click away from having them answered. This was thanks to a dedicated team of tutors who were available throughout using a live chat system. Much like a ‘normal’ open day, every query received a response as the future students began to piece together what life would look like at the college.

The highlight for many was the opportunity to take a brand new virtual campus tour, including a 360 experience in which people could wander through the two campuses in Rochdale and Middleton. This immersive experience gave the learners of tomorrow the opportunity to explore classrooms, workshops, social areas and even catch a glimpse of the meerkats homed at the on-site wildlife enclosure.

Julia Heap, Principal and CEO of Hopwood Hall College, said: “It was great to see so many people looking ahead to a brighter future by taking part in our Virtual Open Event.

“The event was a step into the unknown, so we couldn’t be more pleased that it captured the imaginations of so many goal-driven individuals.

“We now look forward to meeting all these ambitious learners in person when they start their path to success at Hopwood Hall College.”

Meanwhile, the feedback from those who attended clearly signaled that the event had been a success.

Ben Slater, a Year 10 pupil from Crompton House School in Oldham, said: “I hadn’t really given much thought to joining Hopwood Hall College, but it’s certainly an option following the Virtual Open Event.

“I found it to be very welcoming and I really liked the huge variety of courses and apprenticeships on offer. I could definitely see myself there in future!”

This pioneering event was the latest in a string of well-received initiatives since the college began its ‘virtual leap forward’ in March. Following the start of lockdown, there’s been a distinct willingness to utilise different tools and embrace new systems away from traditional face-to-face methods.

Just last month it also launched a variety of free online courses for people in the local community as it solidifies its reputation as a hub for e-learning.

The immediate future might remain uncertain for the education sector right now, but Hopwood’s Virtual Open Event proves that bold and brave initiatives are more important than ever in these extraordinary times. 

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