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What’s Next after SPM? : Choosing a course and college

by on December 28, 2017 | Top Stories

What’s Next after SPM? : Choosing a course and college -

Like many other SPM school leavers, you may be wondering how to choose the right course and institution to study.
When exploring courses of study, there are many things about the course and institution that you need to consider. Here’s a handy list of items to get you started. Not all the items may be relevant to you, but do seek advice before accepting or applying for a study programme if you are unsure. A good place to start would be to talk to school seniors, your school counsellor or teachers, your parents, Ask or the college you want to apply to.

Factors to consider when choosing a course

One of the most important things to take into consideration when choosing a course is to make sure the course is a good match for your personality, interests and skills. There’s more on this in of this section.

Before you enrol for a programme, ensure that the programme meets your budget - don't forget to cost in accommodation, textbooks and other expenditure.

Every programme has different set of entry requirements—from specific subject requirements to English language proficiency—you need to make sure that you meet the entry requirements for the programme you want to apply.

To ensure that the course you sign up for is quality assured, you also need to confirm that the course is accredited by MQA.

If you’ve already decided on a specific career you want to pursue, it would be good to check that the qualifications you obtain upon graduation will enable you to pursue the career you want.

Another factor you should consider is the kind of internship programme the institution offers.

Next, check what subjects are offered—two bachelor degrees with the same name can have very different curricula.

Lastly, find out the types of assessment used in the course you’ve chosen. Is it mainly coursework or do written examinations make up most of your grade? Which would you prefer?

Factors to consider when choosing a college

Here are some questions you could find out from the college or university before making your decision.

  • What makes your programme special?
  • Tell me about the facilities on campus.
  • How about academic resources?
  • What are your application procedures?
  • What are your course fees?
  • What types of financial aid does your institution offer?
  • What’s the passing rate for the last three intakes of students?
  • Is the institution approved by the Ministry of Higher Education?
  • Who awards this qualification?
  • Is the qualification recognised by ___________ (name of professional body if it’s a professional course)?
  • Is there opportunity for studying abroad?
  • Is hands-on training such as practicum or an internship part of this programme?
  • What are qualifications of the lecturers in this faculty?
  • What’s the student-to-teacher ratio for this programme?
  • What’s the mix of students at the college like?
  • What kind of support does the institution offer to international students?
  • What types of jobs can I apply for when you graduate from this programme?
  • What's the employability record of the institution's graduates?
  • Does the institution have a career services department?

In addition, you would also need to consider the location of the college or university: Would you prefer to have the live-in experience of a big university campus or the buzz of a campus in a big city? Would you want to go to an institution near home or perhaps you wouldn’t mind exploring student life in a different city or state?

Besides going for classes, studying, and working on your assignments, do consider the kind of student life you picture yourself having. Does the institution offer you the lifestyle you want? Would you prefer an institution which organises a lot of activities for its students? Or would you rather be part of an institution with greater opportunities for serious academic pursuits?

To make your decision-making process a little easier, do create a checklist and compare your shortlisted options. Remember, talk to your parents, friends, counsellors and college seniors or Ask to get a wide perspective of opinions.

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