CHOOSING A UNIVERSITY
Posted By: Gideon Ogbonna
For Crystalinks Education
So you’ve decided what course you want to study at University? Great! Now it’s time to decide where you want to study, and with over one hundred universities to choose from in the United Kingdom alone, you may well be spoilt for choice.
As with choosing a course, there are a number of factors to consider when choosing where to study for your degree.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
1. Is the Same Course Really the Same Course?
In a word, no. Just because two courses at different universities have the same name, doesn’t necessarily mean the course content will be the same at both institutions. Courses can differ across different universities, depending on the experience of the academic staff delivering the courses and the facilities available.
Each university’s prospectus will provide a full breakdown of exactly what will be involved in their course, including how the course will be taught, what subject areas will be covered and how the course will be assessed. Make sure you read the course details fully – the last thing you want to do is sign up for a university and then find out that the course isn’t quite what you were expecting.
2. Moving Away or Staying at Home
A lot of students use going to university as a chance to get away from home and live somewhere new for a few years, however not all students move away to go to university, and there’s no reason why you can’t go to university in your home town – providing there’s one there.
Moving away from home gives students a chance to live independently and many cite this as one of the key learning experiences of university life, not just in their studies. However, in the current economic climate more and more students are looking to save money by living at home with their parents, and with the cost of student accommodation constantly rising it is becoming a very cost effective option.
Not all universities have the same facilities, and if you’re studying a specialist course you need to be sure the university has the necessary equipment for you to learn. For example, if you’re studying graphic design or web design, does the university have the latest Macs / PCs, do they have the latest versions of software, are there enough computers to go around?
4. Rural or City Living
Do you want to live in a large town or city, or would you rather be in a rural or seaside location? Do you want to be near to local amenities? Would you prefer to be centrally located in a town or city centre, or would you prefer to have all the amenities on campus? Wherever you end up going to university, you’re likely to be there for a long time, so it’s important to choose somewhere you’re comfortable with. Make sure you visit open days and spend plenty of time exploring the town or city the university is located in.
Entry requirements vary from university to university so it’s important to choose appropriately, once you know you’re predicted grades you’ll have a clearer idea of where to apply. It’s also worth remembering that not all universities offer the same courses, it’s no good choosing a university if they don’t offer the course you want to study.