Before deciding on a university or a country, it is important to weigh several factors including legal, social, financial, and post-graduate opportunities
As the higher education landscape continues to grow, it is critical to understand the format of the education system, non-academic activities, culture, potential work opportunities, and more, that each place has to offer, for an overall appreciation of a study destination.
With growing diversity, it is important to have a comprehensive framework to evaluate the higher education opportunities in each region using key parameters that the students could consider when choosing a university within a country. This would enable both the counselor and the student to evaluate study destinations best suited for the needs and preferences.
To make this exercise easy and convenient, given below are the parameters suggested to evaluate various regions, divided into different relevant categories:
A. EDUCATION SYSTEM
1. Higher education model (No. of years, Interdisciplinary, subject-specific, etc.)
2. Specializations in undergraduate programs
3. Global Rankings
4. Extra/Co-curricular options (On campus and off campus)
5. Access to research opportunities
6. Work Regulations during the undergraduate program of study
7. International exchange (Semester abroad/MOUs with partner institutions, etc.)
B. FINANCE AND LEGAL
1. Average cost of undergraduate education
2. Financial aid/Scholarships opportunities.
3. Cost of Living
4. Medical Expenses
5. Visa type and cost
2. Student culture & community on campus
3. Support systems on and off campus
4. Socio-cultural environment
D. POST UNDERGRADUATE OPPORTUNITIES
1. Post undergraduate job placements
2. Thriving Industries for employment in the region
3. Pay scale across industries for students (both local & international)
4. Legal requirements for work post undergraduate education – Identify legal requirements for work for international/local students after graduation.
5. Growth potential for work in the region
The following criteria can be included in an excel template and filled out for each study destination in consideration. This allows an ease of comparison in offerings across various study decisions, both locally and internationally.
To holistically evaluate, which study destination is best suited for each student, it would be helpful to do a quick profile of the student across the following criteria:
1. Current status of undergraduate study – decided on specialization/undecided, etc.
2. Preference in the type of class size
3. Preference to participate in research projects
4. Preferred extracurricular and co-curricular activities
5. Preference for participation in exchange programs (regional or international)
6. Preferred industry for work
7. Budget allocated for undergraduate study
8. Preference for work experience during undergraduate study
9. Preferred lifestyle (City, small town etc.)
Understanding the student’s preference/needs and mapping the same to the offerings of the study destination would complete the process of identifying the best fit region for the student and make way for success!