IT was balloons and buntings a-plenty for prospective students and their families at Ballarat’s university Open Days.
University of Ballarat and Australian Catholic University (ACU) both held information sessions at their campuses from 10am to 3pm yesterday.
The event, which is held annually, attracted prospective students from as far as Horsham and Melbourne.
There was live music and food for the crowds, as well as student ambassadors to answer any questions.
Shae Walsh, 17, said she had come from Beaufort to have a look at the Australian Catholic University.
The Beaufort Secondary College year 12 student, who was accompanied by her parents, said she was hoping to do a bachelor’s degree in primary school teaching.
“It is small and compact and not overcrowded here,” Shae said. “I will also be going to University of Ballarat to have a look.”
Parents Hadyn and Tracy Walsh said Shae would be the first one of their children to go to university.
“We are very excited and looking forward to living university life through her,” Ms Walsh said.
“We will be very proud if Shae gets to university,” Mr Walsh said.
ACU student ambassador Taryn Darlow said she had moved to Ballarat from Melbourne because of its small size.
“There are people from a range of locations,” Ms Darlow said.
“We have had people come from Hamilton, Portland, Warrnambool and Melbourne.”
Delacombe resident Rhys Lane, 16, said he liked what he saw at the University of Ballarat’s Mt Helen campus.
The Mt Clear College year 11 student said he was hoping to do a degree in computer games, design and development.
“It is really good,” Rhys said. “It is a lot easier to access than other universities.”
Visitors at the Mt Helen campus were kept entertained with the University of Ballarat pipe band.
University of Ballarat vice-chancellor David Battersby said there was a slight increase in numbers from last year.
“We had close to 9000 people at our three Ballarat campuses of Mt Helen, SMB and Camp Street,” Professor Battersby said.
“That’s a slight increase over last year.”