Choosing a University – Other Things to Consider
Choosing a university for law, or any subject for that matter, is a lengthy process. When you think about it, you’re essentially choosing a place to live, study and socialise for the next three or four years – you want to get it right. You might check out university league tables, but just because a university ranks well, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a fun place for you to live and study. We understand that you want to study at a university with a good rep, but a university needs to feel right, and this often means taking other things into considerations other than league table ranking.
When you go to university, you definitely don’t want to be singing along to The Rolling Stones, claiming you ‘Can’t Get No [Student] Satisfaction’. Student satisfaction surveys or tables are worth looking at as they can give you a valuable insight into what current students at a specific university think about their studies, the teaching, facilities, social life and accommodation. Therefore, student satisfaction surveys are a good barometer of what life is really like at a university and whether or not you’re likely to enjoy your time there.
Going to university and spending up to a whopping £27,000 on tuition fees (don’t worry, you can get a student loan) is a big choice to make. Often referred to as an investment in your future, you might want to find out what your jobs prospects are when you graduate (it may seem light years away but it comes around quick!).
You can see which universities have the best employment prospect by checking out the league tables but ordering them by ‘employed after six months’. Alternatively, you can check out prospectuses for each university, to see if they include statistics on graduate employment. Keep in mind that most law students will have moved on to studying for an LPC or BPTC, so won't count as being 'employed'. If they don’t have detailed information on their graduates' employment, you could ask when you attend an open day…
Attend university open days
Would you buy a house in an area you hadn’t checked out before? Of course you wouldn’t. That’s why you shouldn’t choose a university without attending an open day.
Open days allow you to look around the university campus and facilities, speak to current students and staff and spend some time looking around the nearest city and student accommodation. Let’s be honest, you’re also going to want to know what the social life is like, and attending an open day can allow you to check out the students’ union facilities and ask current students about the nightlife. You should also check out the university's law society and ask where students have got vacation schemes and training contracts.
You may need to book your place on open days, and double check with your parents how you’re planning to get there (don’t assume they’ll drive you to countless open days).
Choosing a university is a finite process. Narrowing it down to five for your UCAS application can be tough enough, never mind choosing two for your firm and insurance choice. However, if you consider enough options – reputation, student satisfaction, employment prospects and your open day experience – there’s bound to be a university that ‘feels’ right.
Choosing a University