What to do before selecting a university - Daily Monitor

What to do before selecting a university

Monday March 16 2015

Finding an institution of higher learning is

Finding an institution of higher learning is one thing and affording tuition fees is another. 

By BETTY NDAGIRE

Joining a university is always a dream come true for many students. They will study hard to earn it in anticipation for a good job after school. As you prepare to join campus, below are some useful tips for a successful future career.

Accreditation. Before joining any university or institution of higher learning, it is very important that a student or parent ascertains that the university and the course offered are accredited. Accreditation of the institution of higher learning means permitting the institution to operate legally in the country.

Accreditation is done at two levels; accreditation of the institution and accreditation of the programmes to be taught. There are three categories of higher education institutions; universities, other tertiary institutions and other degree awarding institutions. These are supposed to be accredited by National Council for Higher Education before they can be allowed to operate. Accreditation helps a student get a valid degree.

Affordability. Finding an institution of higher learning is one thing and affording tuition fees is another. If you are not on government scholarship or not registered for any form of sponsorship, it is crucial that you establish how you can afford tuition fees. While at campus, there are lot more things that will require money such as photocopying, transport, meals and accommodation. Getting a loan to finance your education is an option. You can also fund your university education through signing up for payable part-time work.

Security. While joining university will grant you much freedom, this should not any way compromise your safety at campus. As such, you need to find out how safe that university or tertiary institution is before you enrol.

Accommodation. Many universities have hostels for providing accommodation while others do not. There are also universities that liaise with private hostel owners to provide safe and secure accommodation to students. Find out which options are available. If you choose to be resident, your chances of concentrating on academics are much higher as opposed to non-residents.

Meals. What kind of food will you be eating at campus? Are you tired of eating beans and prefer chips and chicken? Well, the food you eat will be determined by your bargaining power. Also, university authorities will dictate the meals at campus. But you can cook your meals if you choose to rent. Alternatively, you can identify a restaurant that sells good food in a clean environment where you can occasionally eat from. Negotiate with the proprietor and pay per semester.

Respect rules. Know the university rules and adhere. Avoid peer influence too. Engaging in criminal acts at campus can cost your education and ruin your career. Many students fail to graduate because of indiscipline.

Research jobs. Joining campus opens your door to a world of opportunities. Use your spare time to search for jobs. During your drab lecture you might as well research what skills are required for the careers that interest you. Make a list of what potential employers might be looking for and work back from that. If you don’t possess a certain skill or ability they are looking for, then go acquire it. The same applies for experience. The only thing that is stopping you, is you.

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