How to make a decision on a university

By Avarina Wilson-Dyer-Gough

Where do young people look for information about the universities they are considering? Today we highlight the most important, opinion-shaping information sources as well as discussing how students genuinely feel about the dreaded university league tables.

Information sources

Young people are led by a desire to get true insight into a university. They want to see what the university is actually like from the students themselves instead of only seeing the sides the university wants them to see, therefore chat rooms, websites and word-of-mouth are very important sources of information. 

Other useful information sources are careers and university fairs, their teachers and careers advisors, as well as talking to lecturers and students themselves at university open days.

University league tables

League tables are viewed as useful to look at when researching universities, but they are not seen as the most important tool.

The subject ranking is more important to young people than the overall university’s ranking, because they are more interested in the course, its reputation, and what they are actually going to learn. A high position of a university, doesn’t always mean that it is good place to go for a particular subject, or that it is necessarily better than another university.