Selecting a university to study abroad requires a lot of planning and preparation. Most people are aware of famous universities and colleges but not everyone gets to study in those. There are also instances when one gets admission only to realize that the course or program that they got admitted to either do not have any value or the certificate is not accepted by employers. In order to help students identify good colleges and universities, Student Cover brings you 10 things that one should consider while selecting a University abroad.
1. The validity of institution and its degree certificate – It has often been found that many students who take admission in colleges or universities abroad without proper verification end up in those institutions that neither accredited nor their degree certificates recognized by any country. Many a times, in their quest to study abroad, students take admission in any university only to later find out that neither do those university nor their degree certificates carry any value. Instances of fake universities cheating gullible international students are quite common. It is therefore essential for students to do a thorough research on such institutions before taking admission.
2. Acceptance/rejection rate – While it is everyone’s wish to study in the best academic institution, not everyone is able to secure admission in them. Some institutions might be very demanding when it comes to a student’s academic record and may have a very high rejection rate while others might be easy to get admitted to. Moreover, since many institutions charge application fee which can be several thousand rupees, a student, while applying need to find the right balance between the quality of the institutions and the probability of acceptance.
3. Ranking and reputation among its peers – There are several organizations such as “Times Higher Education” or “QS World University Rankings” which release annual ranking reports on various colleges and universities. These organizations rank the institution based on a set of parameters such as teaching standard, research, citation, industry income etc. Students cannot only refer to these rankings to find out the academic institutions standing at global level but also at national and regional level.
4. Infrastructure – In order to provide quality education, Universities and colleges require more than just tables, chairs and classrooms. They need to have proper infrastructure to help student realize his or her potential in academics, sports or any other activity. While most foreign universities have good infrastructure with regard to education and learning, some of them might be ahead of others when it comes to providing support infrastructure for a particular stream or discipline.
Those students who take admission in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) courses must ensure that their chosen university has adequate infrastructure for them to excel in their field.
5. Quality of faculty – The quality of a student depends on the quality of teachers who teach them. Some universities might have best physical infrastructure but they might lack equally good teachers. Others might have good teacher in a particular department but may lack the same in some other department. While choosing a university or college overseas to study, one should also take out time to have a look at the teachers, their academic and research experience. Knowing a teacher beforehand is quite helpful especially in case of those students who are planning to pursue a doctoral degree from a university. Teacher’s in-depth knowledge in a particular field will greatly help the student.
6. Job prospect in that region – While placement should not be the criteria to decide which university to study in, it nevertheless is to check the job prospects in the country after getting a degree. For example, Indian students who do Masters in US would like to get a job in the US itself. But in recent times, due to restrictive immigration policies of the Trump Administration, it has become a bit difficult for International students to get the requisite work visa. Therefore, not only should one look at the university or college but also the region where it is located, its policies towards immigration and job opportunities.
7. Health insurance facility – In countries like the US, it is mandatory for international students to have a proper health insurance. Many universities and colleges, in collaboration with a local health insurance provider offer student health insurance plan to students. These are customized plans aimed at meeting the specific health needs of students studying in that institution. Some universities also allow students to purchase health plan from Student Cover such as SC Plus and SC Elite whereas some universities require a student to enroll into their plans only. These plans can be very costly at times thereby putting additional financial burden on the student. A student should check if it has provision for waiver on university sponsored plans.
8. Primary and secondary costs for education – Overseas education is like an investment which requires a massive capital. Students take loans to study abroad so as to get good quality education which in turn helps him or her get a job and repay the loan. There are certain disciplines such as engineering where the scope of getting a well paying job is higher as compared to those which do not result in high paying jobs. While applying for a course, one should assess whether the money invested to get a particular degree can be earned back or not before EMIs kicks in.
9. Program – In this dynamic world, knowledge becomes obsolete very quickly. A course which might have been in high demand a decade ago might not deliver the same career prospects now. Now a days, universities and colleges have started introducing hybrid courses that meet the current industry requirements. These days, courses on Artificial intelligence are being taught not only to students of computer science but also to those doing MBA. Hence, one should have a thorough look at the degree program and see if it is up-to-date with the current times.
10. Alumni – One of the signs of a good college or university is its alumni and its network. Alumni are those former students of an academic institution who have made a name for themselves in various fields. All major colleges and universities treasure their alumni as it helps in building the reputation of their institution. A student should check the alumni list of the university to see what the former students are currently doing in their respective fields.
Let’s Wrap Up!
Before selecting a university abroad to pursue higher education, one must do thorough research about that institution. Other than checking the validity of the institution and its certificate, one should also find out about its infrastructure, the quality of teachers who teach in that institution, its fees and the kind of programs that they offer.
Disclaimer: The content of this blog is based on the personal research of the writer. Readers’ discretion is advised. Neither Student Cover nor the writer will be held liable for any wrongful interpretation of the content of this blog.