Does it matter if the nightlife at your university is not in the top 25? Probably not. Far more interesting from a university-based survey was the statistic that 25% of students wished they’d done more research into their university courses, with one in ten regretting their choice of university and fractionally more regretting their choice of course.
The first thing students need to consider when applying for university is what they want their final achievement to be and what they are working towards. Having a specific job or career in mind will make the choices easier. It is an important decision that could determine the rest of their adult life and shouldn’t be made hastily.
The path will be clearer if a student has a final goal to strive towards. Students can find information on how to get that desired job and what they need to do to secure it. For example, teaching Key Stage 3 children at a primary school can be accessed in several different ways; a degree in Primary Teaching, a Bachelor Degree in Education (BEd) and an Undergraduate Degree that is relevant to the Primary School curriculum alongside a PGCE will be sufficient. Popular career choices like teaching, media and IT can have a number of routes; however, others have less. In some cases completing a similar degree at a different institute can alter the outcome drastically. When a student has chosen their final aspirations, they can then pick a university.
Universities are easy to come by, with the United Kingdom having more than 150 institutions. The top universities like; University of Oxford, University of Cambridge and Goldsmiths, University of London are part of the Russell Group Universities and are world renowned, but the majority of students who will study in the UK do not know which one will be the best for them. A survey carried out during 2012 and 2013 by undergraduates, revealed that more than a quarter (26%) said that students wished they had researched their choice before enrolling, and one in ten regretted the university they had chosen. A percentage of students look for the course they want to study before deciding on where to study. However, where the university is based, and its surrounding nightlife and activities will enrich university life as a whole.
The survey also showed that the best universities for nightlife – pubs, clubs and music venues – were universities in Scotland and the north of England. Whereas, students who seek political activities should enrol in London or the south east of England. Specialised institutions for sport, music and the arts would benefit them better than only picking a university on its pass rates and ideal location.
Not only the surrounding nightlife and the extra-curricular activities universities can offer, students need to take travel and home life into consideration. Deciding to move away from home or to attend a university close to them, students need to weigh up how this will affect their university life. Moving away from home can offer skills and responsibilities that will aid them in adult life, with sorting bills and paying rent. Whereas commuting to their university can affect their social circle and the ability to balance university, work and home.
University Open Days are for students to attend and evaluate them. These open days are essential to making the decision on picking a university, and should be attended by all students applying. It offers them a glimpse of what university life will be like, local town and facilities and the whole atmosphere of each institute. And even a Q & A session with previous and current students can help with any questions a person applying may have.
The next step for a student applying for university is choosing a degree course. With the wide variety of choices that is available for a student, the decision can seem overwhelming. This can lead to picking a course that may not be suited for them and no getting what they need out of it, to move on to the next level and/or a desired career. The survey mentioned, asked students for their views on their experience at studying at higher education, with a staggering 11% stating they regretted their course choice. This, in turn, shows the importance of researching a course and what it can offer you.
In some cases, most universities offer similar courses but have a diverse outcome. Such as, studying a Film and Media degree at a different institution will point a student in the right direction, and it is good practice to look at each course detail and module to find the right one tailored for them. Additionally, comparing courses to each other will help narrow down the vast selection being offered.
A few points students should consider when picking a course are; the modules of study, the option to choose their own modules, how they are marked (exams, coursework or practical assessment), cost of education and any work-based or work experience available throughout that could benefit them later.
UK universities have been allowed to charge tuition fees of up to £9,000 a year. With this in mind, it is essential for students to make the right selection of choices regarding their university and course.
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