BY AKIDA K. LEONARD
At the end of February, the Uganda National Examinations Board UNEB released UACE Exams which indicated an increase on the number of students able to join University and other tertiary institutions. Congratulations to the victors upon crossing the advanced Bridge!
The media, Public is over crowded with ads announcing for open admissions for applicants in different professions of study.
Next cluster is joining a University to further studies. There is a good life,adventures,new friends & professionalism that students are interested at and optimistic to experience while at campus. One hardship thou, is on how to select the best university out of the long list of universities.
Choosing the best university/institution may be challenging .However you can easily find out a manageable one if you conduct thorough research about a list of at least 3-6 universities of your choice.
Every student is different from the other and so does their goals.When making a choice of best universities,its important to consider factors that are consistent to you. This article summarises to you what you would consider when choosing the best university before applying for an admission to avoid further regretions.
ACCREDITATION & RECOGNITION OF DEGREES; the accreditation status of a university defines its quality.With the establishment of privatization policy in the Education sector,most educationists invest in education by starting up private institutions.Its important to find out if the institution you are applying to is legally accredited and recognized by the National Council for Higher Education-NCHE, a body that approves educational institutions in Uganda. Also legal forms of accreditation and recognition of certain courses should be carefully reflected & researched before choosing the university to avoid recalling or cancelling of your degree in future.
MAJOR; this is necessarily related to to the field of study a student may apply for at university. You must consider the accreditation and recognition of the course to pursue, whether a university offers it or not. You may be provided with a list of institutions offering your specialty, other factors such as costs,facilitation may help you make final decision.
SELECTIVITY; because of the big number of students applying at universities, admission requirements vary greatly from one university to another.Public Universities such as MAK,KYU,MUST,GULU receive enormous number of applicants and later a small number is admitted leaving others stranded. A preview on the previous years admission criteria like weights per course and number of students admitted should be considered. Also students should make use of the private universities which bear all their considerations.
RESEARCH&INNOVATIONS; researching about university curriculum is influential when choosing the best university.This drives you to know about the required standards in emphasizing about Research and innovations.Most universities emphasize on a Student-professor-Interaction than concentrating on research and new innovations which leaves them without any practical skills.If yours is a science field,there should be adequate labs,computer/cyber labs, to enable inventions. And if its a humanity/liberal art, Research,Library and a Theatre are basic tools to consider.
RANKINGS; official rankings of universities should be considered when choosing the best university to apply.These may be global,Continental,Regional or National rankings.Best ranked universities should be given first choices.However, its good to note that some ranking are subjective on certain campuses while others withhold information from ranking bodies and organizations thus delaying the ranking process.
LOCATION; the geographical location of the university should be considered.Is it an urban area or rural.Urban-based campuses offer a variety of services ranging from Standardized Education,Meals,Housing&Health facilities,and exposures.Climate is another consideration.Also the nearness to other facilities counts for example if yours is an Engineering course,the location of the campus near industrial areas may be an opportunity for practical accessibility and technological advancement.
POPULATION SIZE; less populated universities may not be good for learners .Imagine a university of 1000 students’ enrollment! a big number of both graduates and undergraduates at a university gives morale to applicants.Perhaps, the concentrated ones may not be good to students as it does not favour student-professor/lecturer relations in class.
STUDENTS’ SERVICES; most universities offer a variety of services to their students.Services to benefit students,attend to their grievances,consistent policies should be considered.Other services include;functioning students’ guild council, freedom of worship,Academic bursaries, co-curricular such as cultural & sports gallas, transport facilities and medical facilities are important to consider.
CO CURRICULAR & EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES; best universities should provide a free social life style to learners to discover their natural talents outside lecture rooms. Co curricular such as games,sports,cultural gallas,festivals,political participation do not only help institutions score points in cocurriculars but also enable students socialize with one another. These should be considered when choosing the best university.
COSTS & FINANCIAL POLICIES; these range from tuition fee, functional fees, housing fee and other personal necessities. Different Universities charge differently and so an applicant should choose a cost friendly university.Also the financial policies of a university should be considered. Certainly, private universities tend to be money-minded/business oriented and have complex policies regarding finance. Such policies may include; Surcharges/Late payment charges, higher functional fee per semester to mention but a few.
SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS; this applies to people with disabilities.Disabled students should choose universities that provide a conducive environment to PWDs and that has all the required facilities to enable them socialize with others in the community other than being discriminated.
AFFILIATIONS; the university social,political and religious affiliations should be considered. Oftenly,Religious founded institutions tend to be subjective in nature by limiting other faith activities and traditions. Its not not news writing that a known Anglican University Uganda Christian University in 2016 publicly banned activities of other religions within the campus premises which seem violating the rights to freedom of worship of Non-Anglican students.Private Universities also tend to limit Partisan political participation of students which ideally sabotages their freedom of expression as granted in Article 29(i) of the 1995 Constitution of Uganda.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS; foreign students should also look for universities that recognizes their race,culture,and have international facilities. Most universities tend to over charge international students when compared to nationals. Best International Universities provide services that are maximum standardized to international recognitions.
There are many more factors to consider which are not provided in this article although major factors have been lit above. Now one wonders where such information should be obtained. Its as simple as eating porridge. Just take a breathe………….., we shall take you there.
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Welcome from a break! its much easier accessing information about the university of your choice as it is easier to recall what THE PARROTS have shared to you. Visiting university websites,social media platforms and or their offices would save you . Also using continuing students,Alumni and or an employee within the campus is another way of accessing such information.
Google and Internet are best ways to go although some institutions give falsehood information forsake of publicity and obtaining corporate image from the public. Following this website, too. enables you find out most of this info. http://theparrots08.blogspot.com