Environment and facilities play important role in university studies

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 January, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 January, 2000, 12:00am

You should not rush when choosing courses and institutions. Identify the subjects or subject areas that interest you most. Be careful not choose courses with similar titles that may have very different content.

The clearer you are about what you want, the less likely it is that you will make a mistake. When making your choice, you should consider both academic and non-academic factors.

Make sure the qualification you earn at the end of the course is recognised and accepted by employers in Hong Kong or where you intend to work.

Look at the institution's prospectus, which will tell you the qualifications you will need, the teaching methods used, such as lectures, seminars, tutorials or a mixture, methods of assessment and study facilities.

Most schools, colleges and universities have their own Web sites on the Internet which provide such information and are regularly updated.

Some universities have produced videos about themselves which you can see on request. If your questions are still unanswered, you can write directly to the institution or meet the representatives at the British Education Fair.

Non-academic factors you should consider when choosing where to study include: location, size of the institution, costs, leisure and travel.

Location: You should consider the cultural and social advantages offered by the environment and the time needed to commute from your home to your lectures, which may be at several different sites.

Size: Institutions vary enormously in size, from those with a few hundred students to the largest universities with tens of thousands of students. You have to consider getting along with fellow students in a big provincial university or a smaller and out-of-town campus.

Costs: Living and accommodation costs vary according to your location. Some institutions offer scholarships and bursaries to international students.

You should check if the university offers accommodation or if you will have to look for private accommodation on your own.

Leisure: Sports and recreational facilities will enrich your learning experience. Consider how far you are away from the nearest theatres, cinemas, museums and restaurants.

Travel: You have to think about how much time and money you are going to spend on commuting. In a rural setting, you will need to know the frequency of buses running to the nearest town.