Finding the right university can be a challenge. Students typically consider a range of factors: the overall ranking of the university, the ranking of individual subjects, the ranking of the faculty and the employability/earnings ranking.
You might also consider the approach to higher education in different countries. The liberal arts education popular in the United States gives students more time and flexibility in choosing their subjects. Australia offers similar flexibility with a wider choice of subjects so you can create a programme catered to your interests and career goals. The UK is more tightly focussed in terms of the subjects you study and when you study them.
Teaching cultures also vary. Some students prefer more class time with easily accessible academic staff. Others prefer research-based study. Another option is co-op education that combines classroom-based learning with practical work experience – especially popular in Canada. Consider your preference when choosing a university.
Something else to consider is a university that is has a reputation for offering the best, or one of the best, programmes in your field of study. A degree from that institution can increase your employment prospects.
Studying abroad can be expensive. If that’s a concern, many universities offer scholarships to international students who meet specific criteria. Some universities offer reduced fees to students from countries or backgrounds they are trying to attract to increase the diversity of their student population. Others offer scholarships. Look for an institution that might offer you this benefit.
If cost is a concern, something else to think about is the university’s location. For example, living in London will cost a lot more than living in northern England. The same goes for New York City compared to more affordable regions in the US. To reduce costs, look for universities located where living costs are more manageable.
Other students can be an excellent source of recommendations for universities – provided their suggestions are relevant to what you want to study. Find forums with reviews and see what others who attended the universities you’re considering say about their experience.
Use the tips above as a guide, do your own research, get qualified advice if you’re uncertain and you can expect to make the right choice.