4 Questions to Ask When Choosing a University
The university you attend is one of the biggest choices you’ll make in your life, helping to shape your professional career and provide you with skills that allow you to progress in life and realise your goals.
Despite this, many people take a rather hands-off approach to choosing a university, opting for the nearest or cheapest place to study rather than the one that’s best suited to their needs.
With over 150 higher learning institutions in the UK, today’s would-be university students have an incredible variety of university options. Below, we’ve provided four questions to ask yourself when choosing a university to check that it’s the right option for you.
How close is it to your home?
Closeless is an important factor to look for in a university. After all, you’ll be attending classes almost every day, making proximity a major benefit when you need to commute back and forth from your residence.
If you plan to stay in your home city for university, it’s best to look for options that are located a short distance from your address. For example, if you’re based in Bradford, a university like the University of Bradford is an obvious, conveniently located choice.
In big cities such as London, proximity is less important than accessibility. For example, before choosing a university, check how easy it is to access via public transport, as well as how long it will take to commute from the place you plan to live.
Is it a good choice for your field of study?
Although most universities offer a wide range of subjects and qualifications, some universities excel in certain fields of study. This means that if you’re planning to study in a specific field, it’s best to choose a university that’s known for its quality of education within that area.
For example, universities such as the University of Dundee and the University of Glasgow are known for scoring highly in fields such as the biological sciences, making them good choices if you’re interested in studying medicine.
Likewise, institutions such as the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) are famous for programmes in the social sciences, such as law and politics.
In addition to choosing a university that’s well equipped to teach the subject you’re interested in, it’s important to check that you’re qualified to enter. You can do this by checking the university’s entry requirements online.
Does it offer the experience you’re seeking?
University is both about learning in class and learning out of class, whether it’s learning about a new city or learning to socialise and build connections with new people.
Because of this, it’s important to consider the type of experience you’ll have while you study at university. Does the university you’re considering have the type of facilities you’d like to use? Is it located in a city that you think would be a pleasant, interesting place to live?
Will you be able to meet and befriend new people that match your personality and expand your interests? Just like choosing a life partner, choosing a university is as much about compatibility as it is location and educational materials.
What’s its university ranking?
In the UK, like in other countries, independent entities such as newspapers and university news websites often release lists of universities ranked based on their overall quality and quality for a specific field of study.
You’ll notice that this question is far from the top of the list. This is because university rankings, although helpful, shouldn’t be the main criteria that you use to assess whether or not a specific university is worth attending.
With this said, rankings can be helpful if you’ve narrowed your search to a few universities but can’t decide which to choose. If in doubt, the university with the higher ranking may be a better choice for you.