Heading off to university is seen by many as a rite of passage to adult life. For lots of students it offers the first step in living away from home in a safe, learning environment, a chance to grow in confidence and gain independence as well as all the necessary skills needed to open the door for a rewarding career. However, selecting the right university can be a minefield. Given the multitude of options and the cost involved, this is not a decision to be taken lightly. It is no wonder that many feel overwhelmed and unsure about which way to go.
Here are our top tips for helping your children make the right choice of university to set them up on a career path for success.
1) Curriculum and study methods
Look carefully at the subjects and curriculum on offer. Identify your learning styles. It is important to make sure that the course content and study methods are in line with your interests and preferred learning styles if you are to achieve your full potential. For example, if you prefer a practical based approach to learning, make sure this is reflected in the course you select rather than a more rigid academic one where your grade may depend on one or two exams at the end.
2) Employment Prospects
Look at what the course will enable you to do afterwards. Some people have a specific career path in mind- in which case, go for it! If you are not sure of the job that you want to do afterwards, a more general route which allows you to specialise later on may be preferable.
3) Student Reviews and Employer Perception
The russell group which represents the top universities in the UK, have compiled some useful statistics on the highest scoring universities in the UK for graduate employment, course satisfaction and starting salaries. This data will give you an indication of how valued the course is by prospective employers as well as the careers open to you and your future earning potential.
4) Attend the Open Days
Go to open days and use the time wisely to find out as much as you can about the course you’re interested in, student life and accommodation.
5) Student Life
Talk to other students and check out online reviews in order to get a measure of what life is like beyond the world of the glossy prospectus and open days. What clubs and societies can you join to get the most out of your university life?
6) Consider Living Costs As Well as Tuition Fees
Look at the cost of living as well as tuition fees. Make sure that you have a budget and plan in place for funding your higher education journey.
To sum up, university offers an opportunity to gain friendships, experiences and skills that will launch you on an amazing career path to future success. However, do make sure you plan and research the options carefully in order to benefit the most from it.