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How to choose a university or college: 10 tips
Published:  May 24, 2022 1:28 AM
Updated: Jun 14, 2022 3:47 AM

Most of us will have to decide what and where to study after graduating high school, and with thousands of universities to choose from, this process can be challenging.

So, here are ten tips on how you can choose the best university to pursue your studies in.

What should I consider when choosing a university?

Here are some factors to consider when you are choosing where to continue your studies:

Interests

You may be confused about what career you want to follow after graduation, but you probably have a decent idea of your interests and abilities. 

Organising your interest will also assist you in gaining a better understanding of other aspects of what you want to do in college. For example, you will have a clearer view of what type of program you would like to pursue at university.

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Accreditation 

One of the most significant things students should consider when choosing a university is university accreditation. 

Studying at a university that is recognised globally will help students have better chances at obtaining jobs as future employers will acknowledge their undergraduate degrees. 

Accreditation information is frequently located in the About or Admissions sections of the university’s website.

Tuition Fees

The cost of tuition has long been an important factor that influences students’ decisions. 

So, create a budget on how much money you can devote to your studies. It would help if you also looked at additional fees, such as the sports and facilities cost, photocopying in the library, and perhaps your graduation ceremony. 

It’s a good idea to anticipate how much money you’ll need for the duration of your undergraduate program, covering tuition fees, accommodation, living expenses, and other expenses, such as textbooks and transportation.

International students who are eligible are usually granted scholarships, and study loans may be viable.

Location 

Another factor to consider while selecting an institution is its location. If you want to live at home, it is easy to choose a university. 

However, if you wish to reside somewhere else, you should consider the distance or travel time, whether locally or internationally.

While there are benefits to moving out, such as being free of your parents’ constraints and being able to socialise without worrying about curfews, it will undoubtedly be more expensive. 

You’ll also be living far away from the emotional stability and comfort of your home, pushing you to be self-sufficient.

Here’s a few questions you can ask while contemplating the location of the university of choice:

  • Do you want to live in a larger, perhaps more diversified metropolis or a smaller, more relaxing setting?

  • What is your desired distance from home? Is it simple to return home?

  • Do you know anyone who’s attending the same university as you?

  • Do you want to live with your parents while attending school?

Living costs

Tuition costs will almost probably not cover everything you’ll need for your study, which may come as a surprise. 

To name a few expenses, you will be expected to purchase textbooks from your reading list, course-specific equipment, food, printing, field trips, and maybe work experience and placement expenses. 

Expenses vary per college, so do your homework. For example, go online and talk to older and past students, or talk to your lecturers to figure out how much money you’ll have to fork up for your living expenses.

Type of university 

Every university has a unique student experience that you can choose from based on your preferences. 

Older institutions tend to conduct more research, recruit experts to give talks, and offer more traditional academic programs. 

On the contrary, newer universities are more regionally and vocationally focused, and they enrol more senior and part-time students.

Consider the type of school as your broadest criteria. It’s pretty comprehensive and intended to help you narrow down your options. 

Your alternatives will become clearer once you combine them with the other criteria listed below.

Size of university 

Did you know that the size of a school can reveal a lot about it? Well, you’ll probably have some concept of the size of school you’d like to attend, just as you do about the type of school and location.

For example, a smaller institution provides a more personal and intimate experience but fewer facilities and non-academic activities. 

On the other hand, larger universities provide more activities at the expense of more impersonal teachings, as lectures can be offered to hundreds of students at once.

Remember that a small, intimate school may exist in a large, bustling metropolis. However, a large public university can be found in a tiny town. Therefore, it’s critical to consider the school’s size with the surrounding area.

Campus environment

Another vital component of your college experience is the campus environment. Campus life varies significantly from one institution to another. For some students, the environment they are in can be just as influential in creating their experience as academics. 

Learn everything you are able about the campus culture while researching colleges. Some colleges have a vibrant campus community with numerous activities and student clubs. 

Visit the campus and see it for yourself. This will allow you to explore the grounds and, most importantly, ask comprehensive questions.

Academic support

What kind of education you will receive is directly related to how a college supports students academically. 

Some schools provide little support to develop independence, while others offer free tutoring groups and writing assistance. 

Student activities

Do you love playing sports or being in a robotics team? Find a college that allows you to pursue your interests, no matter what they are. See what sports are offered and what student organisations are available on campus.

Importance of choosing the right university

Here are a few reasons why it’s important to choose the correct university:

Impacts your mental health

Take your time choosing the best college for you as your choice may directly impact your mental health. 

According to research, choosing the incorrect college might lead to depression. For example, students who chose a college with a lower academic rank were more likely to become depressed. 

Those who attended universities that were capable of giving students all the help they need, on the other hand, had more self-esteem and were less depressed. 

Because mental health is so essential, take your time in finding the right university for you.

Improves your wellbeing

Moreover, you will not spend your entire time in the classroom. You’ll spend time outside of class as well, so you’ll want to be able to participate in activities. 

If there are no activities for you to like at your school, you may become depressed. This could have ramifications in all aspects of your life, including your schoolwork. 

Even if you don’t get sad, you should not expect to be bored and get the most out of your college experience.

On the other hand, if you choose a school that offers a wide range of activities, you won’t have to be anxious about being bored and it will be easier for you to enjoy your time at college.

How to choose a university course? 

Besides choosing a university, you’ll also have to decide on what you want to study. Here are some tips to choose a university course:

Choose a subject area that you like

Consider what you are curious to learn about more and what you’ve already studied while deciding on a subject area. You’ll spend practically every day of your degree reading, writing, and listening to lectures on your chosen subject, so choose the one you’ll enjoy immersing yourself in.

Research

Make a list of courses you want to take and do considerable research on each one. You can easily obtain information on the programs and prospectuses supplied by various universities or institutions on their websites. 

You can also seek advice from their counsellors or anyone close to you who has experience with furthering their studies in universities or colleges.

Course content

Is there anything in the core modules that you’re interested in? Is there a sufficient number of optional modules to choose from?

Make sure you conduct enough research by reading course descriptions carefully and visiting university websites for extra information.

While different universities may have the same course names, each course may have other modules and material and varied contact hours and teaching techniques.

Final remarks

It is undeniably challenging to decide what to study and where to study. Therefore, we at UOW Malaysia KDU are always ready to offer you a helping hand that can help this process become smooth like butter. Book an appointment with us today or drop your enquiries here.


This content is provided by UOW Malaysia KDU.

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