Where should I study? Although people have different priorities when studying, there are some fundamental factors that everyone should consider.
Accreditation is a process that all educational institutions must go through to ensure their curriculum, teaching and facilities are on par with national standards. Never assume that all institutions are accredited with South African regulatory bodies as many are not.
Find out if the academic programme covers practical and theoretical aspects. Does it offer hands-on experience and internship opportunities or does the college help you find internships in your field.
- College Staff
Lecturers should be well qualified and industry experts. Also find out what other staff are available to assist you with your career goals, provide necessary study advice or assist you with research.
How will the location of the college affect your education? Commuting for 2-3 hours a day might get to you after a while.
Smaller colleges tend to offer more specialised programmes but may have limited resources. Smaller colleges offer a more intimate environment and you won’t be a small fish in a HUGE pond. Smaller colleges usually have less distractions too, so you are able to focus on your academics more.
Quality education does not come cheap. Remember to also consider the total costs and not just the tuition fees. Does the cost include textbooks? How much will transport cost you? Other costs can quickly add up.
- Support services
Copying, printing, Wi-Fi, internet, latest software, dedicated programme managers, decent cafeteria facilities, career guidance and placement services. All these make the learning experience so much better.
- Campus life
Yes there is more to life than just studying! Make sure your college allows you to strike a healthy balance.
- Safety & academic disruptions
Have a look around to see what safety and security precautions are in place and ask about the college’s track record in ensuring minimal academic disruptions.