Let’s be honest! You want to study in THE best university, receive THE best education, and have THE best career afterwards. That’s why you’ve probably looked at university ranking tables to help you inform your choice. While useful, there are a number of limitations with global ranking tables, and they only paint part of the picture. This is what you should know about them and which other ways you should consider to make your choice of university:
But let’s first dive into why you shouldn’t consider only rankings when making your university choice.
#1. University ranking may not address all your academic interests
The rankings are often based on a narrow set of criteria such as research output and international reputation. Of course, these criteria are important; however, they don’t tell the whole story. Your choice of university should resonate with your personal and academic interests, the subject you want to study, the ideal location to live, and many more. Choosing a University based on university rankings alone may not address all your educational needs.
#2. Universities rankings are not uniform entities
Different universities perform well in different fields. This means that a high globally ranked university does not necessarily represent each program and faculty. For example, if you’re passionate about Chemistry, a university which specializes in this area may be better for you than the one with a general top ranking. Subject Rankings can be more informative for students looking for specialized programs.
#3. Highly ranked does mean best fit
Last but not least, the general university rankings lack personalization as they don’t take into account your unique needs, career goals, or personal preferences. They don’t consider factors such as campus culture, extracurricular activities, etc., which are crucial in shaping your ideal student experience. Consider campus culture, quality of teaching, and career opportunities that align with your personal and academic goals.
Finding your ideal university: from reputation to true fit
Now that you are convinced that general rankings are not the most important factor for choosing your university, let’s see what you should look for when making this crucial decision.
Program and course offerings: Identify universities that excel in your area of interest. And carefully consider the program. The same program might have different flavors in different universities. For example, can you take elective courses? Does the assessment include real life projects? Make sure that the university provides programs that match your aspirations.
Location and Campus Environment: Think about the climate, culture, and lifestyle of the location. Do you prefer a bustling city or a serene campus setting? Also consider campus facilities like libraries, labs, sports facilities, and so on.
Student life: Are you involved in sport clubs in high school and you want to continue practicing? Or are you more interested in student organizations? Research the opportunities for involvement outside the classroom and to what extent they satisfy your interests.
Diversity and inclusion: Consider the diversity and inclusion efforts of the university. A diverse campus can provide a more enriching and inclusive educational experience, making it important in your University Selection Criteria.
Budget and Finances: Evaluate the cost of education, including tuition, accommodation, and other living expenses. Does the university and cost of living match your budget?
At The Discov, we help you compare your top university options based on your unique profile, including your academic, student life, budget and diversity preferences. Just select your preferences and receive a free interactive report with your top university matches, including a virtual tour of what life will look like at each matched university.