It is universal truth that not all Universities and Colleges are the same. Some are one way or the other better than others. The decision to choose which University/College to attend is not an easy one for a Higher School student/graduate.
Before we begin to look at what you should consider when choosing a University you might want to look at our guide on the various of degree classes out there. You might also want to know the differences between a University and a College.
Now if you are clear on what you want to be here are things you should consider:
- The University/College’s ranking- a qualification from a top University or College will go a long way in achieving your dreams. Just because a degree has the same title does not mean it carries the same weight
- Your desired course- does the University offer the course you desire. For example if you want to be a medical doctor or lawyer you should check to see if the University has this course.
- Curriculum- this refers to the syllabus or academic content within the courses you are interested in. Some Universities allow you to choose some courses within your overall degree and some don’t. Some lump courses together e.g. Banking and Finance instead of offering them separately.
- Required grades-it is pointless to apply to elite University when you do not have the grades for it. It will be a wastage of time,effort and even money. Find out what the required High School grades and qualifications for a given course are before you apply.
- Accreditation-is the institution allowed to offer this course? Does it have the backing of professional groups in that particular field e.g. Law Society of Zimbabwe etc? An accredited institution is officially recognized.
- Reputation-what is the reputation of the University? You will do well to avoid the ones with scandals. Find someone who has attended the same University and get their experiences.
- Employment chances-how many of the University’s applicants graduates find employment after graduation. Find out the University’s alumni and look at their successes and failures.
- Geographical location-where is the University located relative to where you stay. Attending a University in another country can be a very rewarding but challenging experience.
- Size-Larger Universities tend to have more resources
- Residence-does the University have on-campus residency or not?
- Extracurricular activities-does the university have sports, events and entertainment facilities?
- Transportation-how easy is it to get to the University for lessons if you are commuting?
- Fees-what are the fees? Does the University allow payment plans? What currencies do they accept? What payment methods do they accept?
- Application fees-what are the application fees required when making your application
- Scholarships and Financial aids-does the University have its own in-house scholarships? Does it offer loans to help you with fees and life?
- Work schedule-does the University allow students to have part time jobs?
Choosing a College/University can be very challenging but the checklist above will ease your process no matter what your chosen field of study is.