How do I start to choose a university or college?
The first thing to remember is that no single university is the best choice for everyone, different places suit different people. Think about what is important to you, what your strengths are and what you are interested in. Things to consider are:
Type of university:
- do you want a more traditional or modern university?
- would you prefer a campus (all buildings in one place) or integrated within a town or city?
- would you prefer attending a large or small university?
- which part of the country would you prefer to be in?
- would you prefer a city or more rural location?
- do you want to be close to the sea?
- what are the travel links like to and from Jersey, as well as further afield?
- what is the number of taught hours per week on the course?
- teaching style: is it practical, lectures, small group seminars or a mixture?
- assessment style: Is the course assessed by examinations, coursework or a mixture of both?
- how much reading are you expected to do?
There are several university league tables where you can look at statistics such as student satisfaction, student to staff ratio and the percentage of students in a career after graduating. League tables should be treated with caution as a university holding a high position does not guarantee that it will be the best place for you or for the course you are looking to do.
Social and sporting opportunities
Going to university is much more than your course and learning, it provides opportunities to:
- meet new people
- make new connections
- try new hobbies such as sports or social groups
Have a look what the university offers that align with your own interests.
Visits to universities
Once you have narrowed down your preferences, visiting a university is the best single way to find out what a university is like. You can get a good feel for the environment and ask any questions you may have. It also gives you the opportunity to meet tutors, current students, see accommodation and facilities linked to your course.
If you are unable to an official open day, universities are happy to arrange tours or meetings for prospective students at a different time. Email or call the department you are interested in to see what is possible. Some Universities also offer virtual open days.
UCAS provide information about attending open days and how to best prepare.
You can also have a look at when different open days are happening on the
Open days website.
Residentials often happen during the school holidays. They allow you to have an in-depth experience at university over several days. You will be able to stay in the accommodation, explore the area and take part in events, lectures and seminars in the subject area you are interested in.
Every university is different when it comes to what they offer for residentials. Some may focus on prospective students who face barriers in attending higher education, whereas others are open to everyone. It is best to explore university websites to learn about what they provide or speak to a Skills Jersey Careers Advisor who will be able to help.
Universities can offer a huge range of support. This support can cover career and employability, mental health, and welfare or more around housing, visas and finances. If you feel you need particular support, it is worth looking at what different universities offer and what best suits you.
You can watch our recorded sessions from the
Higher Education Fair. Several of the talks explored the support universities can offer in more detail.
Useful websites and resources