Choosing the right university: A student’s guide

Choosing the right university: A student’s guide

So, you’re planning to go to university and the choice in front of you is both exciting and bewildering! The UK has over 150 universities and equivalent institutions to choose from, so you’ll need a strategic and planned approach to identifying the right provider for you.

A rolled diploma or document, tied with a red ribbon, over black background

Work out your priorities

Every student will have a unique set of priorities and it’s vital to work out your own, rather than listening to what other people are looking for. Here is a list of some key factors to consider:

What you want from the qualification itself

Some students want prestige and others want a flexible qualification that allows them to specialise in certain areas of interest. Other courses have an industrial placement built into them so that you can focus on employability. Some will offer overseas study. The main qualification-based considerations for students tend to be academic prestige, the flexibility and applicability of the course and the practical placement opportunities. Other students will be interested in the broader educational experience and will be looking for a course structure that most closely matches their personal interests, especially if they are learning for enjoyment, rather than to secure a postgraduate role.

How are your finances?

Students will also need to think about their finances and the implications of studying at different institutions. There will be different costs of tuition and varied costs of accommodation and living costs. For example, student accommodation in Huddersfield will naturally be less expensive than in London.

Do you have any existing links?

Some students also want to choose a university which is close to their home or in a familiar location. This can be important if they want to be close to family – perhaps if they plan to work at home for example, or if they plan to work part-time around their studies.

Are you looking for the rounded experience?

Don’t forget the importance of student experience too! Some universities are located perfectly for leisure, music, travel and entertainment and it’s worth factoring this into your final decision, especially if you have a good feeling about a place after visiting it!

Study concept closeup of an open laptop, with workbooks and notebooks and a fresh green apple

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Surviving in Halls of Residence

Surviving in Halls of Residence
When you go to university, it may be the first time you find yourself living with people who aren’t your family! It can be a big adjustment to make if you’re not used to it. There’s also the complicating factor that everyone else you’re living with is also likely getting used to living out of the family home for the first time – this can lead to stress, arguments, and washing up piling up in the sink.
Today we’re offering a few hints and tips that could help you survive a year in halls of residence before you get the chance to move out and chose your flatmates more discerningly.

De-Escalation
Even if you’re the most agreeable person in the world, there’s a chance you may get into some kind of dispute with one of your neighbours. It may be based on a reasonable grievance – like loud music played at night when you’re trying to sleep – or it may simply come from a clash of personalities.
The key to resolving disputes like this is to always de-escalate when you can. Going straight for the highest authority whatever the situation is a sure way to create more animosity!
Firstly, if there’s some reasonable adjustment you can make (like…actually doing your washing up), that’s a quick way to solve the situation and get back to normal. If the other person doesn’t leave you with anything reasonable you can do to solve the dispute (or at fault themselves and refuse to take reasonable steps) you can safely escalate to a higher authority. But rather than involve the university authorities, you could try to find a way to arbitrate the situation more informally. Many Halls have older students living in them to serve as mentors or Wardens, and they may well be able to help you find an accommodation that doesn’t burn any bridges behind you.
Of course if you feel you’re risk of physical harm, you should escalate to the situation to highest possible situation and make sure you’re doing everything to stay safe.

Storage
If you’re moving into halls from a big family home you might find you don’t have room for everything you’ve brought with you! Especially as you start accumulating mementos of your time at university and more books from your reading list.
It’s worth looking into resources like byStored student storage to find somewhere safe to store additional clutter. While it’s not a good long-term option, if you just need somewhere to keep a few things temporarily – perhaps during a move – you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing all your possessions are safe.

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The Great Gingerbread House Sale

At Christmas its all to easy to think of yourselves, and get wrapped up in the gift buying, but with homelessness on the rise Shelter have asked bloggers to join in “The Great Gingerbread House Sale”

London is the place that springs to my mind when I think about the homeless, but with as many as 60,000 families in temporary accommodation in the UK and 14,000 without a permanent home, homelessness can affect anyone. Shelter is a charity that not only looks after people who find themselves homeless, but helps the step before. Helping people who find themselves in difficult situations for many different reasons to keep a roof over their heads.

Why not think about giving just a few pound over the festive period to help people just like yourselves. Those that sometimes through no fault of their own find themselves in difficult circumstances. Your donation could help them back to their feet, and put a roof over their heads. Here is a link where you can donate to The Great Gingerbread House Sale.

the great gingerbread house sale

Here is our London inspired gingerbread, Tower Bridge. Even Santa can find himself getting lost at Christmas and where would we be on Christmas day if there wasn’t someone to help him out! If you like my efforts then please make a donation to Shelter, and help to stop the estimated 93,000 children who will be waking up homeless on Christmas Day.

 

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Disclaimer, we were asked to join in this campaign the words are my own and have not been altered.