FYI: 3rd of May is the deadline to firm and insure your universities and decline all the others.
Some people might have trouble firming/insuring a Uni because they:
- Like all their choices
- Hate all their choices because they didn’t go into enough research for what they selected
- Like their possible firm and insurance equally
- Some uni’s offer things you want that other uni’s you wish also offered e.g. year abroad or work experience
- Some uni’s are higher in the league tables but have bad ratings on The Student Room
Either way, for whatever reason you can’t choose I’ve compiled a list from The Student Room, myself and various websites. Hopefully by the end of this you’ll know which uni to firm and which one you should insure.
- Can you learn a language? Most Uni’s let you learn a language for fun by joining a language society or learning a language as an extra curricular activity. Maybe you’ve always had an interest in cultures, want to meet some new people or improve what you learnt from your GCSE language? Whatever the reason, joining in a language class or society can become extremely beneficial in the future…unless they actually do develop a device to translate…nonetheless still learn. Languages are beautiful.
- Do you LOVE the area you’ll spend 4+ years in? When looking for accommodation check the Student Room, the uni’s website and YouTube for peoples opinions of where you could live e.g. will there be construction work outside your accommodation? Is it right outside a night club or is it on a really quiet street? How’s the night life? Is there a lot of restaurants and shopping centres? Will you have to get 100 buses to enter civilisation? If you are good with noise or whatever, make sure you know what you’re up for. Don’t just look at the pictures.
- Is it a city that will have part-time jobs/mentorships related to your degree or will you have to travel for that experience?
- Is it a social campus, a commuter campus or a quiet campus? Which do you prefer, and are you willing to compromise on this point? Some universities don’t have accommodation on site, you might have to walk a few minutes to your lectures or be 30 minutes from the university.
- Are they offering you scholarships or grants if you go there? There are millions of pounds worth of scholarships that aren’t used. You can literally get a scholarship for anything, if you’re an ethnic minority, how much money your family has, the particular subject you take, skills you have e.g. football or music, even for being left handed.
- Is the campus visually pleasant and a place you’d be okay spending a good chunk of your time on? I’ve heard of people going to Uni’s with a crap social life and spend most of their time travelling to London or out in the town/city.
- What’s the weather like there? Is there a lot of one kind of weather, like snow or rain, that you love or can’t stand?
- Are the professors at the school renowned in their fields? Do they have books published? Do you care? Personally I really like it when the people who are teaching me have written and published books and we learn from that, you can ask questions to them directly and shows they have a greater passion for it.
- What is the practical to theoretical ratio? This doesn’t matter for all degrees so don’t worry about this if it doesn’t concern you for example if you wanted a film studies degree but want to produce films too make sure to firm/insure a uni that will do that but if you just want to learn about film theory then a ratio doesn’t matter.
- How well does the school rank academically? Are you in a field where that matters at all? Firstly, a lot of schools and some students put a lot of emphasis on the ranking of the Uni, not the ranking of the Uni for their course, student satisfaction, graduate employment ranking etc if your uni is 45th in the league table but No.1 for your degree and offers a nice campus, night life and grad prospects that is a very good Uni. Remember, just because your university isn’t Russell group doesn’t mean it isn’t a good university, there are several universities that rank above popular RG’s.
- Can you have a year abroad? Are the Uni’s you’d be travelling to good and nice, do you like the climate? Are there good job prospects near the Uni abroad also? The more experience the better
- Are the students at the Uni happy? You can Student Room this or WhatUni for detailed reviews from the students themselves.
- Does the Uni have societies that are of your interest?
- Are there any infringing rules the school places on students even off campus, such as no drinking or smoking, that you’d inevitably rebel against or despise?
- Does the cost of living in the city sound reasonable for a you?
- Is the school a weekend trip’s distance away from home? Does it matter to you how far away from home it is?
- Does the Uni have a Facebook page or GC so you can get to know the people on your course/ flat/ societies?
- Is there a line of successful alumni from the school? Have you browsed through the Uni’s alumni magazine or checked the alumni section of the website?
- Does the Uni have big or small classes or both? Which do you prefer or think you’d prefer? Usually the website will say how big tutor and lecture classes are.
- Is the campus big or small? Can you reasonably walk from class to class in a decent length of time or would it be better to bike or bus?
- Does the Uni allow cars?
- Are the professors kind or approachable? You’ll be able to tell on applicant day.
- Is there an Open Day you can attend if you want to check it out before an applicant day? I don’t think it’s too late to attend. Open days tend to show you the university with a bit of info on your specific course, however applicant days are after you’ve been given a place and they give you deeper insight into your course.
- If you have an unconditional offer, is it to a Uni you genuinely considered as a first choice? You don’t have to accept it just because it’s unconditional and means ‘less work to get in’ make sure whatever your choice is great all around.
- Is the library open 24 hours a day?
- Catered accommodation or Self-catered? Can you cook? How busy will your degree make you to even have time to cook?
- Is there a Waterstones/bookstore nearby? UNIDAYS has a 10% discount for Waterstones also universities have their own libraries but if you like brand new and you’re the first person using it, make sure there’s a good bookshop nearby.
- What are the stores like? Is it a cute dainty area with Waitroses and Aldi’s dotted around or a metropolitan area? With Tescos extra, a large shopping mall and store outlets?
- What are the house costs for 2 and 3rd year
- Ethnic minority ratio,and tolerance? Obviously racism is everywhere, however some universities have more of a racist reputation than others. This goes for other minority groups as well such as LGBT+, disability etc some people unfortunately still severely discriminate. You can check the studentroom and other students opinions on these issues.
- Nightlife? It;s definitely important to check out the nightlife before you choose. If you’re not a fan of lots of noise or you can’t without being in a clubs, going to night events and pub crawls etc check it out.
- How much support will you get as a student? Some universities offer peer support from higher years on your degree, tutors, trips etc
The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Each university has been given an award of either gold, silver or bronze – the level should give you an indication of the kind of teaching you can expect. You deserve the best 🙂
Lastly, UCAS EXTRA and UCAS FINANCE is now open just click extra or finance for a direct link and start your easy applicant. UCAS EXTRA is for people who have been rejected from all their uni choices or you rejected all their uni choices. You can apply to a new Uni in place of the one you were rejected by or declined yourself, however you can only apply to one Uni at a time and must wait for that Uni to reply before you can apply to another Uni. If this concerns you, sorry more waiting…..
Thanks for reading guys and I hoped this help you chose which to firm and which to insure. Whichever one you choose I hope you enjoy your time in uni, go make some fab memories.
What university do you hope to firm?