How do I choose the right university for me?

Choosing a university to enter is a big venture. There are 43 universities in Australia, with over 22,000 courses to choose from.

Adam N

Choosing a university to enter is a big venture. There are 43 universities in Australia, with over 22,000 courses to choose from. This means being well-researched and informed is critical to enjoying your university degree. So, what should you know before choosing a university? 

1. Identify your academic interests and eventual goals

To enjoy and prosper in university and beyond, you have to like what you are studying about. First, try brainstorming your top academic interests currently (E.g. What are my best subjects? What subjects do I engage the most with? What can I see myself doing in the future?). 

Then, think about where you want to take your degree. Do you want to work in Australia near your family? Or are you thinking of travelling overseas to seek career opportunities? Opening your own business, or perhaps enrolling with the army? Your plan should roughly take into consideration where you want to be by the end of your Bachelor’s degree/Master’s degree. 

2. Consider the environment of the university

The environment of the university is also a big factor that influences your education. Each university will have their own culture, and successes within different fields of academia. This is where being proactive with your university research is important. Some questions you can ask to current students, online chat rooms or at open day are: 

  • What is the student culture like? 
  • What clubs are available? 
  • How do the lecturers in the course teach? 
  • Are there opportunities for X? (For example, problem-based learning in health courses)

You should also evaluate the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses at different universities, as well as financial aid and scholarship opportunities. This is where your career advisor comes in, as they’re well-equipped with information about universities. 

What you shouldn’t worry about too much is where your friends are going, and how other people will perceive you. Friends are a great bonus, but ultimately they won’t do your degree for you. Your choice of a degree must be a personal one, so that you can confidently hold it in high-esteem and enjoy it later on. Trust your instincts! 

3. Think about entrance requirements and university performance 

Each course will have their own entry requirements, which may differ depending on the university as well. This includes, but isn’t limited to: 

  • Subject prerequisites (e.g. Mathematics Advanced, English Advanced)
  • Entrance exams (UCAT, LSAT)
  • ATAR, IB score or equivalent 

After brainstorming potential course choices, you should go to each prospective university who offers the course and note down their entry requirements. Have them all on one page so that shortlisting becomes easier when it’s time to choose courses on UAC. 

Related to the previous point, universities all have their own ‘vibe’ and rankings. Find a good compromise between prestige and desired environment, and then account for the performance you think you can give during HSC. Fortune favours the prepared! 

Need help reaching your academic goals? Reach out to Concept - we're always happy to help!

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