Five tips for choosing the right university for you

Student at university

Choosing a uni can be overwhelming because there are so many choices to make.

However, as overwhelming as it can get, selecting a university is something that you need to take your time with. Otherwise, you may end up in an environment that is not ideal for you, or worse still you may drop out of school before you graduate. Below are some tips that can be helpful when choosing the right university.

Start by identifying the course you would like to study

Firstly, you need to decide what subject you are going to pursue at university. This will help you in selecting a university that is top rated for that course. Some people already know the courses they will be pursuing even before they complete secondary school. Others need to do some self-assessment and research. If you aren’t sure about which course you should take, take a look at your interests, subjects you loved in school and the professionals you admire. You can also consider volunteer opportunities and get advice from a career coach or mentor when selecting a course.

Make a list of universities offering your preferred courses

After identifying your path, the next step is to do some research and make a list of universities offering your preferred course. When applying for undergraduate courses, you will be expected to indicate your shortlist of institutions and degrees on your UCAS application. Although it may be possible to change your choice of course at a later date, it’s advisable to choose well the first time because classes may get full before you have a chance to change your mind.

With sites such as Uni Compare, you can search through the various options online without having to browse through hundreds of websites. Uni Compare, for example, lists universities and the courses they offer, as well as rankings to help students connect with the right university.

Staff profiles

Good content delivery is dependent on the faculty that delivers it, which can include teachers, lecturers, researchers, scholars and professors, so it’s important to check out staff profiles on the universities’ websites. The profiles will ideally show information such as education, past and current employment and other achievements in life.

Location, location, location

How far from home are you willing to go? This is a choice that is dependent on your current responsibilities and personal choices. For instance, for someone currently caring for a family or working on an already established business, the ideal university could be what is closest to home. For a fresh sixth-form leaver with a desire to explore the world, going to business school overseas maybe the best choice. So before you send in your application, explore such factors so that your responsibilities are not affected, or so you don’t end up limiting yourself when you are free to explore so many choices.

Accreditation and rankings

Reputable universities are accredited, and they have good rankings and positive reviews. Hence, before you sign up to attend an open day or even to enrol on a course, make sure you check these out. You should also try to read reviews written by the university’s past students.

Tuition fees, extracurricular activities and accommodation options are some other key factors you should not ignore. Most importantly, don’t forget to take advantage of open days to get a broader view of life at the university.

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