Researching higher education options is often a process full of lists, so are you ready for some more list making? Once you’ve narrowed down the options in terms of courses, it’s time to look at the universities and colleges that run them. Some of you may be lucky enough to have a university in mind; perhaps you’ll know of a highly regarded vet school, or the best place in the country to study maths, or you may be starting from scratch. Either way, there are a number of questions you’ll be asking yourselves:
The big debate will centre round whether you want to study ‘at home’ or ‘away’, and there are plus points for both. Some people see staying at home as offering the best of both worlds, where you’ll save money on rent, meet new people, yet you’ll never miss friends or home life. Moving away on the other hand certainly means striking out independently, and staying in shared accommodation or halls of residence in another part of the country, and is something many students continue to value. The third option, is to take on a distance learning course, such as on online Masters of Public Administration or MBA degree, where aside from meeting your tutor or fellow students face to face, you’ll be working at your own pace from home.
Course and university location will no doubt be high on all your checklists, but why not delve a bit deeper, and research more about what the university has to offer too. Consider whether the university is in an urban or rural location, whether there are campuses scattered around town, and what the student accommodation is like in terms of cost and quality. University social life should be enjoyable too, so look at clubs, activities, events at university, and in the local area. Although it may seem boring, consider the cost of all of the above as well.
University is a completely new experience though, so while practical considerations are all important, if you have a disability, learning needs, or are in need of some other kind of support to help you through university, keep this in mind. All universities have student union and student support and welfare staff to turn to, but it’s always worth finding out if all your practical and personal support needs will be catered for.
- The Complete University Guide: www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/
- Telegraph University Advice: www.telegraph.co.uk/education/universityeducation/8675419/Choosing-a-university-course-Set-your-sights-on-the-future.html
- All About Careers Advice: www.allaboutcareers.com/careers-advice/choosing-a-university