Higher Education is important - choose your campus wisely
Tertiary education is an important step in a person's life. Not only will they take years to be fully completed, universities and colleges also require large amounts of money which vary wildly depending on the courses selected. Not just courses, but other factors such as daily allowances, hobbies and sports activities may require additional funding.
Therefore, deciding on which college to attend is not something to be taken lightly. In this era many educational institutes have sprung up, dispensing knowledge, producing the next generation and building a good reputation among themselves. Thus, prospecting students will have to take a detailed look into their institution of choice.
Environment of the Campus
The first factor is environment of the institution. There are two branches on this factor - literal and figurative.
Literal is the area inside and outside of the college itself. If possible, take a drive or walk around the university and see whether the vegetations, the sidewalks, the walls are properly taken care of. Check out the part where the campus is on the town. Pinpoint important locations such as hospitals or shops. Some universities offer their own facilities inside, but they are likely to lack advanced facilities and accessories available to specialised services.
The next one is figurative, that is the relationship the campus had with industries and markets. This is to ensure said university has proper ties with job recruiters who are seeking suitable candidates. This allows better cooperation so that you, prospecting job seekers, have better knowledge regarding your choosen field.
Plus, being affiliated with a reputable corporate partner allows students access to scholarships as well as proprietary technologies available only to said corporations.
- Clean bright areas
- Proper distance to outside facilities
- Good relationship with industries and corporations
Quality of the Courses
The second factor is more on the courses themselves. What most people forgot about university courses is that it must provide complete knowledge from two sides theory and application. It's no use to get high grades from tests, but then fail to apply such knowledge on practical uses. One glaring cause of this is because lecturers and students concentrate too much on rote-based memorisations. In other words, eating then regurgitating knowledge on test papers only.
Furthermore, it is advised to look at the reputation of courses offered, especially if there are too many courses offered by only one campus. A campus that specialises on technology may offer art-based courses, but said art courses have low reputation due to the campus's specialisation on technological courses.
- Proper use of theory and application of practices
- Reputation of courses
- Specialisation of the campuses
Student Satisfaction and Results
The third factor is about the the end result of the campuses, that is, the alumnus. Find and ask the students themselves. They are the primary sources on the campus's experiences, because they are the one who have had first hand experience. Word of mouth definitely goes a long way. Rumours and hearsays may be biased and unbased, but at least they reveal what some students feel bad about such institutions.
If possible, try researching a bit about alumnus of the campus. Their achievements reflects the capability and competence of the lecturers to take and handle challenges. The the academic staff themselves are also another important factors to consider when choosing which university and colleges to enter. Find out whether that marine biologist had vast experiences on scuba diving, and not just what's written on the textbooks. Furthermore, if you have the chance to speak to lecturers, take note of their speaking style and their enthusiasm. Their passion can tell a lot on whether they really like teaching or just lookin to earn money from teaching.
- Proper student satisfaction
- Excellent alumni results
- Good and passionate academic staffs
Adequate Facilities and Resources
The fourth factor is the facilities and accommodations offered and available on the universities and colleges. Newer universities may offer updated equipment, however, older institutions are likely to upgrade their facilities as well to keep up the pace with the ever changing educational landscape. Moreover, older established universities have more prestige and proud history as well as higher funds and subsidies due to their quality after standing the test of time.
Lecture halls should be properly equipped. Some halls may be barren and lack audio visual equipment, but over all else, ensure that the safety regulations are met. Having aforementioned equipment may help with the learning process, but it's dangerous if they are not properly or haphazardly installed.
Class sizes should not be too big, else, you'll have trouble communicating with the lecturer, who could also be swamped with assignments from other students. Ask about their lecturer-to-student-ratio. Sure, a small class size is definitely preferable, but small classes also tend to lack variety - especially in team-based assignments. Choosing the right partner is important to achieve the required efficiency and satisfaction in completing given work.
- Sufficient facilities and handling
- Proper maintenance of equipment
- Satisfactory class sizes
Cost of Education and Financial Requirements
Last, but not least, is what troubles most students - the cost of education. First, check whether you or your parents/guardians have enough money, and sufficient college funds. There are many discussions on proper educational costs, and the general consensus is that the higher the cost, the better the education. Despite this, students may need to look beyond simple numbers. If you have studied closely the preceding four factors and have been satisfied by their criterias, then a higher educational cost may be worth it. There is a higher guarantee that you'll be rewarded with a fullfiling experience.
One other thing is about allowances. There are many factors influencing this. Students may need more income if their campus is on a bustling city, for example. Or that they could use additional funds if they have a vehicle. Students with a vehicle may also be asked to help with other's transportation needs, especially if there's not much of public transports or routes among the university's lanes.
- Adequate sources of funding
- Daily allowances and proper budget management
Don't expect too much, even after such colleges and universities have a high reputation or satisfied your criterias. Be ready to accept and overcome challenges and surprises along the way. Furthermore, don't try to rush everything, even if you are very capable. Other people may not be able to keep up with your pace. Give yourself time to get used and adapt to major changes.
"Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another." - Fyodor Dostoyevsky