Tips on Choosing the Right University
by StudyMalaysia.com on February 27, 2023 | Top Stories
For most students the transition from high school to university and then to their future careers is overwhelming and fraught with anxiety. To take this leap, there are so many considerations to ponder over. Finding the right university to study in, promises at least three to four years of studying joy, thus contributing to good mental health.
Choosing the right course at the right university makes it easier for a student to study successfully and to get a job upon graduation. Therefore the choice of higher education and subsequent career planning are so critical as they are going to be not only a life-changer but also a game-changer for the world.
The world is constantly changing. The major changes expected in the future should inform how we think of education today. The trend is now moving forward to a world of artificial intelligence (AI). Thus in your choice of courses and universities you might have to consider careers that will keep you relevant in the modern world.
Students want to look for renowned universities while renowned universities would also like to select their students. Some criteria considered by universities before they admit students would be students with
- good grades
- strong standardised test scores
- extra-curricular participation/leadership skills
Students on their part should ask some self-reflecting questions:
- Where do my interests and abilities lie?
- Do I want to study arts courses or more (STEM) technical courses?
- Do I want to go to a big or small university?
- Do I want a university close to home or far away?
- Will expenses be a problem?
Below are some of the factors you will want to consider before deciding on a university to study in. The order of the list may vary according to the needs and requirements of the individual students based on their personal preferences, abilities, expectations and financial capabilities.
- Courses offered that align with your interest and future career goal - When choosing a university, it's important to consider your academic interests and goals. Check out universities offering courses you are interested in, their track records or experience in conducting these courses and how well-equipped they are for these courses. Consider the faculty and curriculum of the university's academic programmes. Do the faculty members have expertise in your areas of interest. Is the curriculum comprehensive and challenging enough to prepare you for your future career? Is there an appropriate accreditation or recognition for the courses you are pursuing?
- Reputation of Course - Different universities may be renowned for different courses. For example there are some universities famous for their medical, business, accounting or engineering courses. Research the faculty and academic departments, and look for universities that have a strong reputation in your chosen field.
- Reputation of University - Choosing more popular universities would mean tuition fees will be higher and there may be more competition among top-notched students. Do you want this? Or do you want to choose a less sought-after smaller university where tuition fees are lower but the environment is more cozy? Thus you may want to check up on the university ranking, the campus environment, its track records, the teaching staff and reviews by others. You may also want to choose a university where the culture is more diverse and can inculcate a global mindset in its students.
- Facilities - Most if not all universities provide basic facilities like library, sports areas, health service, canteen, career service, learning zones and student accommodation. However, how well-equipped they are, is worth finding out. Some universities also have in place good safety measures for the well-being of students. Consider whether they meet your needs and expectations.
- Campus Culture - Think about the campus culture of the university you're considering. Do you feel you would fit in with the student body and campus atmosphere? Are there clubs and organizations that interest you? The culture and community of a university can greatly impact your university experience. It is worth to look for universities that have a strong sense of community, and that offer opportunities for social and cultural engagement. Consider whether the university has a diverse student body, and whether it aligns with your personal values and beliefs.
- Student support services - University life can be a challenging and stressful time, so it's important to look at the student support services offered by the university. Look for universities that offer counselling, tutoring and other support services, and consider whether they can help you succeed and thrive in your studies. Some universities also arrange for internship opportunities for their students while they are studying. This will give their students hands-on experience that will stand them in good stead when they graduate. There are internship opportunities, job fairs, and other resources to help you gain experience and network with potential employers.
- Location of the university - Do I want a university close to home or far away? Do you want to study locally or abroad? Many students whose parents can afford may want the best of both worlds i.e to study locally for part of the course and to immerse themselves in another culture abroad for the rest of the course. There are 3+1, 2+2 and courses of varying durations done locally and abroad.
- Tuition fees/Expenses - This consideration may be the top priority for a lot of students. You have to consider where you want to complete the entire course and find out whether there are scholarships and study loans available. If you plan to study overseas you need to consider the currency exchange rate and calculate the cost (tuition + living cost) needed for the entire course and not just for one year. Expenses are incurred for food, accommodation, travelling and miscellaneous such as sports, library and even graduation ceremony.
- Career Prospects - After graduating from university, you will be looking for employment opportunities, so it's important to consider the university's employment outcomes. Look at the university's graduate employment rates, and consider whether graduates from the university have a high success rate in finding employment in their chosen field.
Some of the things you should do after reflecting:
- Compile a list of possible universities.
- Get a prospectus of each university you have short-listed to get the course
details, facilities and entry requirements.
- Talk to students currently studying in the university or alumni of the university.
- Attend education fairs.
- Visit the university (if possible) to experience personally the atmosphere.
- Talk to career counsellors and head of the faculty of your chosen field.
Regardless of the programmes you have chosen, job opportunities and scholarships available, the university you choose should be a place where you enjoy yourself while studying during these few critical years of your life. The university should be a place where you grow and develop uninhibited and which helps you realise your dreams and goals. Of course, affordability is a key consideration when choosing a university. If you have chosen THE RIGHT university, you should leave the university with valuable experience and memories that stay with you for the rest of your life.
For enquiries regarding where to study in Malaysia, kindly click this link to send us your requests: https://studymalaysia.com/career-guide/ask-studymalaysia/.
StudyMalaysia content research team team
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