University launches ‘Virtual Open Day’ iPhone app

iPhone apps

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has launched the first "Virtual Open Day" iPhone application, which provides a look at campus, even for those who cannot set foot on it.

The application, which is now available on iTunes, will also display upcoming events more of interest to prospective students, with contact and transportation information given.

The new launch differs from the first iPhone application the university released in 2009, which listed events mainly for current students and staff.

Lisa Colman, UCLan's marketing and communications manager, said the application offers prospective students with more conversational interaction, which can be to their benefit.

"At the moment, we promote with undergraduate students," Colman told IT PRO. "I think there is also an area [of the application] that will focus on post-graduate students and others outside too, who can offer a new set of advice."

Although the application is currently only available to iPhone users and just covers the main Preston campus, the university is looking to broaden its coverage in the future.

Prospective students can also use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to submit photos to UCLan from their visits to campus.

The university will then post submitted photos from each open day to its Flickr page, Colman said.

Joel Arber, UCLan's marketing and communications director said UCLan wanted to make a more engaging iPhone application that displays university facilities.

"Social media is second nature to our prospective students and in today's society; it is integrated into so many different aspects of our lives," Arber said.