Within the UK, there’s a huge range of universities and courses to choose from. So, how do you choose between over 160 institutions, and thousands of courses? Research finds that half of students who drop out of university early do so because they chose the wrong course, so it’s important to be completely happy with your choice.
So, let’s have a look at what you need to consider before you make your university application in order to make the right choice.
Make sure to meet the Admission requirements
You’ll need to pass a test of English for your UK student visa requirements. You can take any Secure English Language Test (SELT) that’s been approved by the Home Office, the UK government department responsible for immigration. Some options are IELTS, PTE Academic, DUOLINGO, OIETC, etc. Choosing a UK university requires a lot of thought.
Choose your course
Think about the school subjects you’re good at but also think about what you could spend the next three or even four years studying. Ask yourself: Is there a subject that you want to continue and deepen your knowledge in? Or do you want to study something completely new? Is the course accredited or not? Think carefully about these questions, and the rest of the process will become a lot easier.
Think about the location
There are large, international cities like London or Glasgow, smaller towns and cities like Cardiff, Belfast or Nottingham, rural universities like Lancaster, coastal towns like St. Andrews or historic cities like York, Oxford or Cambridge. You need to first ask yourself: what’s important to you? Would you prefer to live in a busy city or in the quiet countryside? Are you going to be doing a lot of exploring or will you stay near campus? Are there friends or relatives nearby? Is the campus within walking distance from accommodation? These factors will make a difference to your decision. Different parts of the UK have different costs of living, depending on things like rent, transport, and the cost of entertainment.
Look at the university rankings
Rankings of the top universities in the UK don’t just measure teaching quality. They show data on student satisfaction, post-graduation employment rates, and staff to student ratios.
Research the teaching style
It’s a good idea to look at the style of teaching and assessment at your chosen university. Some courses focus more on final exams, some on coursework, and some on projects, dissertations and independent research. Some courses are taught in large lectures and seminars, and others, will teach you in small groups or one-to-one with a tutor. The teaching style that works best for you will be decisive in your choice.
Look for university facilities
Look for accommodation, teaching spaces, research facilities and other amenities such as shops, restaurants and laundrettes all on one site.
Think about tuition fees
Make sure to have a budget in mind as to how much you want to spend on tuition fees. For example, which university offers more scholarships or discounts for international students? Do you need to write a statement of purpose for additional scholarships? Look out for this options while you research university and their courses.
Research accommodation options
It’s important to think about where you plan to stay like university residence or private residence? Look for pros and cons for both of these options and then make a smart decision based on your choice.
Research student’s feedback about the university
Many universities run dedicated social media pages for their student ambassadors to answer questions. You may wish to ask specific questions about your course, the university campus, or extra-curricular activities.
You can get feedback from students about the university in various social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other websites about what they liked or disliked about the university.