Evaluate Your Goals
First thing you have to do before you consider which university to study in is define your personal education goals. Know what you want to study and which programme is suitable. Ask yourself questions such as: Do I want to study overseas? Do I want to study and graduate quickly?
The specific course you want to study is essential in deciding where to study. A number of universities are well known for specific courses. For example, University of Reading Malaysia is renowned for its Henley Business School while University of Southampton is distinguished for its Engineering programme. If you are still undecided, pre-university courses such as A-levels, and AUSMAt will give you more flexibility and time to explore subjects.
There are a huge number of universities for you to study in. The sheer amount can be overwhelming. That’s why you should first do your due diligence by researching universities online. Compare rankings and programmes, evaluate the course structure, examine the assessment methods, and contact staff if there are any questions. Once you’ve done your thorough research, make a short list of 3-5 of the most suitable universities that match your education goals.
Go To Open Days
University Open Days are a great opportunity to get to know more about the universities you are interested in. You will get to see the location and campus first hand, meet lecturers, get in-depth detail on courses from staff as well engage in fun interesting activities.
You will be living a significant number of years in your future university. So take a good look at the environment you will be in during the open days. Is this somewhere you might call a home away from home? Also consider the location of the university. Is big city life more attractive or do you like peaceful rural living?
Survey Student Opinions
What better way to get to know if a university is for you than from the students themselves? Get in touch with current students of your interested universities. They will be able to tell you their unfiltered honest opinions, the good, the bad and the ugly.
These students may also give you invaluable advice and tips on improving your life and academics at the university. However, be sure to try to get a range of students not just one or two as their experiences may not reflect the general student population.
Look Into Student Lifestyles, Clubs and Societies
This is a factor often neglected but university life isn’t just all exams and academics, extracurricular activities and recreation play a big part too. For some, it is important that universities have have a vibrant student community with plenty of activities such as balls, festivals, sports competitions, holiday events and more.
You should also see if there are clubs and societies that match your interest and passion. For example, if you have a passion for theatre and drama, a university that has a robust Drama Club may be important. Similarly if you love sports and physical activities, universities with good sporting facilities and competitions may weigh in your favor.
Examine Finances and Funding Opportunities
Of course there are also financial aspects to consider. Though some universities have exceptional courses, amazing facilities, and experienced teachers, they may also be on the pricey side. There are also living expenses such as accommodation, transport and food cost to consider. These factors may vary depending on your university’s location.
You need to seriously examine your financial situation before you make a decision. However, there are also opportunities for funding through loans or scholarships. Some universities have great scholarship opportunities for exceptional students. Still, you should also seek out government or external organizations that may help ease your financial burdens.