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Future Voices: How should students pick a university?

PUBLISHED: 13:00 30 April 2017

The Ziggurat buildings at the UEA.  University of East Anglia.  PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

The Ziggurat buildings at the UEA. University of East Anglia. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Archant Norfolk

Going to university symbolises an exciting new chapter in your life but, for some people, the process of choosing the right university can be a daunting, often stressful, task.

I have recently spoken to Rebecca and Olivia, two current university students, to discuss how they went about choosing the right university for them.

One of the big questions involved in choosing a university is whether to stay local or to move further afield. I asked Rebecca, 19 about why she chose to study at her local university, the UEA.

She said: “Studying at your local university is great because you already know the area which makes the big move much less daunting and if you do any activities in your local area, it’s much easier to continue with them.

“Also, you have your family right there which is very comforting and proves to be quite useful too.”

When asked whether she thought her experience of university had been changed by staying local, she said: “Well, because I stay in university halls, I think I am getting the same university experience of living away from home and socialising with new people.

“I may have found it slightly harder to make really close friends and I might have missed out on some social opportunities, had I of chosen to stay at home.”

Next, I spoke to Olivia, 19, who is studying at the University of Loughborough, on the first move she took in choosing her university.

“University league tables can help you in deciding which university open days you want to go to but you shouldn’t depend entirely on them,” she said.

“The danger with league tables is that they can give the impression that there are good universities and bad universities, but a first is possible and the same from anywhere.

“Open days are the most important aspect of choosing a university and you should never pick a university without visiting it.”

On what to think about during an open day, she said: “You really just have to think about the feeling you get when you visit the campus and whether or not you can imagine yourself going there.

“The course is obviously important but you have to remember that you’re going to have to live there for a minimum of three years.”

• What advice can you give when choosing a university? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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