Colleges are Gatekeepers to a Good Life
Higher education would be perhaps the costliest and one of the most important decision in student’s life thus it is important that a student’s spends adequate amount of time identifying the desired college.
The current article will help you with a broad guideline with regards to how one should go about selecting a college
- Take your own decisions: students have access to information from various sources i.e. college website, internet, fellow student friends, consultants. These information source is very effective but importantly students should analyse the information and then take his decisions. Don’t forget It should be you taking the decision rather than somebody else taking the decision for you.
- Country: Prior zeroing on the college you should first frim up on the country, one should check to understand if the destination country is immigration friendly and if it provides stay back options post completion of the course. Do note that the stay back and employment options are generally available for specific courses/streams of study. For example, United Kingdom does not give option to stay back and look for employment, hence the student has to return immediately after the course is over. On the other hand, in the US, there is a 3 year stay back option for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs to look for employment. This means that in case you are planning to pursue an MBA from a Non STEM course from the US, it might not be a viable option.
- Ranking of universities: College ranking does not always give you a right perspective, For e.g. international ranking more than 60 percent of the weightage is given to research.Secondly, do not select a course based on ranking of the college, select the college in conjunction with the course. E.g.: Not all courses offered at Harvard University may necessarily be good.
- Guidance: “good” universities act as a magnet for good brains, they have near monopoly for attracting and choosing the best talent. Students do not get attracted only because of quality education, they get attracted because it gives access to an ecosystem which increases their odds to be successful like their alumni. Thus guidance plays an important role, right guidance from education councillors, alumni students etc. will help students to make right decisions. One of the source which is getting popular among student fraternity is international councillors, they have an edge because of the local knowledge and expertise.
- Study reveals that there are five factors that affect students’ final selection of a university.
- Learning environment and job prospects ranks at the top, reflecting the importance of elements such as modern campus, updated computer laboratories and well-stocked libraries. A “well-credentialed faculty”, the competence and expertise of academic staff, the “teaching expertise of the faculty,” has a major influence on students’ choice of their host institutions.
- The second highest determinant relates to student life and activities which shows that students seek appropriate accommodation and a variety of extra-curricular activities.
- The third strongest factor is support systems, both physical (bookstore, guidance and counseling office) as well as non-physical (scholarships, transferability of credits).
- The fourth and fifth factors have lesser weighting but are still considered significant. These included a safe and friendly environment and sporting facilities. Considered together, these variables have the strongest impact on students’ selection of a university.
Information: Relevant Information is the key before making your decisions. Better decisions are made when you are better informed. In the current scenario where acquiring information is not a problem, students are faced with the problem of collecting relevant information. Hence I propose below mentioned frame work which student should consider before making their final decision.
The parameters results mentioned in the table are based on the survey done with high achievers in higher education. These students have ranked the parameters in the order of importance. Approximately 14000 students were surveyed.
The results show that course content, job prospect and reputation are important variables while selecting the college. Whereas scholarship was way below in the ranking, this could be mainly because these students gave high weightage on future prospects then reducing the current cost of education.
Christine Hawdon, Analysis and Research, UCAS (November 2012 ) Tracking the Decision-making of High Achieving Higher Education Applicants , Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the Sutton Trust edn., : .
T.Mazzarol,G. Soutar (2001) Push-Pull Factors Influencing International Student Destination Choice, : Centre for Entrepreneurial Management and Innovation.
Conard, Michael and Maureen Conard. “An Analysis of Academic Reputation as Perceived by Consumers of Higher Education.” Journal of Marketing for Higher Education 9.4 (2000): 69-80.
M.Shetty (2018) A Good College is a Ticket to a Good Life., www.manoj.shetty.com edn., : http://manojshetty.com/index.php/2018/09/29/a-good-college-is-a-ticket-to-a-good-life/.
The ideas, views and opinions expressed in the article represent my own views in my private capacity and not those of any of my current or previous employer, any institutions. The article is a research work based only the limited, dated and open source information. For the sources the statements have been quoted with the authors name. This article is only for the reading pleasure and while I invite the feedback and comments on the article, I will not be responsible or liable to any such comments as the same belong to the responder.”