Tickets are now on sale for Higher Options 2019. It will take place in the RDS on 18th, 19th and 20th September from 9am to 3pm each day. IGC

As you consider your preparations for organising a trip to Higher Options in September I have some information for you and a couple of requests for assistance.

Skills and Apprenticeships

The skills and apprenticeships area at Higher Options was gladly received last year and feedback was very positive. This area will be considerably expanded at this year’s event and will include a special Skills Talks hub with talks on apprenticeships and an area for some live skills demonstrations.

Ticketing

With regards ticketing, I would encourage all those who can to purchase tickets now. As you will be aware, there is a limit to the number of students that can be accommodated at the event. In order to help secure your preferred day and time slot, and in order to help us process tickets efficiently, earliest booking is advised.

In addition it would be greatly appreciated if schools could book their tickets as a group. If individual tickets need to be booked after the main school booking is made we will do our best to accommodate this. We are working on a ticket solution for 2020 that will enable individual and group tickets to be booked but at present, whilst we are posting out physical tickets, posting to individuals in schools makes things very difficult. We really appreciate your efforts in making group bookings on behalf of your students.

Preparation

The Irish Times is grateful to the work the members of the IGC put into preparing students for attendance at Higher Options, to enable them to get the greatest value from the day. The process of recruiting speakers for the talks and lecture sessions are ongoing. The list of talks and lectures taking place will be shared online at irishtimes.com/higheroptions in due course and you will receive email notification when this information is available.

The Irish Times Higher Options supplement will be published with the paper on Tuesday, 10th September. This will provide invaluable information for students to do some preparation ahead of attending the event.

Waste and Recycling

All universities, institutes and colleges attending will be asked to try and cut down on the amount of prospectuses they print and distribute at the event and to consider other ways for students to access information – primarily via online sources. We would encourage you to speak with students about this. Perhaps ask that students only take brochures if they need them or perhaps that they collaborate to collect prospectuses from different institutions to their friends and share them to create a resource area on their return to school.

Refunds

I appreciate all you do in encouraging and facilitating students to attend Higher Options and we have been in the practice of issuing refunds for unsold tickets. We cannot sustain this practice at the current level as resources are simply not there for the amount of refunds requested. I would ask that you try and purchase the correct amount of tickets for your school to enable us to still provide refunds where there is a genuine problem and schools cannot attend.

Autism Friendly Exhibition

We are working with AsIAm to develop and introduce certain elements at Higher Options to make the conference more friendly and accessible to autistic students. More information on what this will entail and on how we will adapt to quieter sessions will follow in due course.

As mentioned, The Irish Times and the staff working on Higher Options greatly appreciate the work that you as members of the IGC put into organising your students to attend this event. I hope that Higher Options will be of great benefit to them as they consider their further and higher study options. For any queries relating to the event please email higheroptions@irishtimes.com, see www.irishtimes.com/higheroptions or look for updates on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/higheroptions/

Points on Preparation for an Open Day …