Factors to consider before enrolment
Students must consider a wide variety of factors before choosing a university.
Identify different university elements to aid you in your future plans
With a choice of more than 1,000 good universities in the US, almost 200 good ones in the UK, and even more if you are considering other countries, it is important to look for the best match based not only on the your liking of the field or ranking of the university, but also the plans beyond graduation or post-graduation.
While key factors for the choice of universities are employability, quality of education, cost of education, and future relevance of programmes; the decision is more complex.
Base degree of higher education is a starting point for further specialisation. A high degree of adaptability is needed as many jobs of the future have not even been invented and may emerge three to five years from today. It becomes really important to identify the core interest or the 'element' in words of Sir Ken Robinson.
Once the core field or the 'element' is identified, you need to discover and find the universities that offer the best expertise. US universities, for example, offers a large amount of flexibility in the choice of core subjects and other general education subjects in liberal arts and humanities.
Hence, the choice must be considered carefully while choosing a university. Core is not only the main subjects but also a variety of courses related to the broader general education areas of economics, business, humanities and social sciences.
Thus, an overall plan must be laid before selecting the universities in the US, Canada, Australia and UK. The duration of the programme must be kept in mind to keep the education aligned with other family responsibilities including the total cost of education.
Student life is another important aspect - ranging from small rural campuses to 'large campus town within a city' to compact metropolitan city campuses. Social life on campus, sports and recreational facilities, opportunities to travel and community programmes are an important component of the overall development of personality.
A large part of interpersonal skills take shape at university and adds to your future endeavours. Diversity on campus and multi-cultural environment are also important factors to consider.
Local climate is another factor. It is great to be in universities with great weather throughout the year for sports and outdoor activities. Cost of education is certainly high and prohibitive in many universities. But work opportunities on campus, financial aid and availability of accelerated programmes help reduce this cost. One must opt for universities with such options.
As you can see, it is a complex decision but with systematic information gathering and synthesis, use of online resources, professional counseling and guidance you can make a great choice and travel the wonderful journey of higher education and life.