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How to choose which university to go to

Study tips
Published 14 Sep, 2022  ·  9-minute read

“Which uni should I go to?” It’s the age-old question that nobody but you can answer. Well, nobody but you should answer.

You could probably get someone else to make the decision for you, but ultimately, if you’re going to spend upwards of 3 years studying at one university, you want to ensure it’s the right fit for you.

So how do you go about doing that?

We’ve put together a list of questions to ask yourself, which will help you choose which university to go to.

Personal questions to consider

There are a few things you need to think about in relation to your future university and your personal circumstances. Practical stuff like how far away it is from your home, if the uni offers the programs you’re interested in, and what kind of financial assistance they provide for students. Here are a couple of things to research and ponder before you settle on a university.

What do you want to study?

This is probably the most obvious question, and one of the first things you should research when looking at universities. When considering a university, ask yourself the following.

Smiling student in white lab coat writes in pencil on sheet of paper she is holding, with classroom of lab equipment in background

Are you able to move away from home to study?

When wondering ‘which Australian university should I go to?’, location will have an impact on your decision. While some people can move to a different city or state to attend uni relatively easily, others are restricted to universities in their local area for various personal reasons such as health, family commitments and finances. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help you determine which Australian university fits with your living circumstances.

Is your financial situation preventing you from applying to universities outside of your local area? UQ offers accommodation scholarships for potential students who wish to move to study at their preferred university.

Do you need financial assistance for study?

University education can be expensive, but it doesn’t need to be a huge up-front cost. There are various government programs that can help you afford university studies and assist you with the cost of living while you complete your degree. But there are also ways the university you choose to attend can help you financially.

Two students sit on a wooden bench looking at an iPad

General questions to consider

These are the big questions everyone’s concerned with. They relate broadly to what each university you consider offers and how they compare to one another on a national and global scale. So, let’s delve right into one of the most important things you’re going to want to know.

What are graduate outcomes like?

The whole point of going to uni is to get a job and kickstart a career in an industry you’re passionate about, right? In that case, you’re going to want to know what graduate outcomes are like – or put simply – how likely you are to get a job after you finish your studies.

Did you know? UQ graduates have gone onto work for global companies such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple.

What are the global and national rankings?

This is another one for fans of straight-up stats. There are many higher education ranking bodies out there, but some of the most popular and authoritative include:

If you want to know which university is best in Australia, and in the world, you might wish to consult these lists.

UQ is ranked:

Find out why UQ is a world top 50 university

Two UQ graduates stand in the Great Court in their graduation gowns, throwing their mortarboards into the air

What extracurricular opportunities are provided?

Your university experience centres on studying your program, but it’s also about so much more. At uni, you can join clubs and societies, attend events, go on study tours, secure internships, participate in workshops and embrace international study exchange opportunities. So, does what university you go to matter when it comes to making the most of student life? Absolutely.

How to decide which university to go to

There's only so many pros and cons lists you can write. Sometimes the best way to really lock in a decision about which university in Australia is right for you is to go and experience it. Attend open days for the universities you’re considering, or take a tour of the campus online – this will help you get a feel for the place and the community.

There are so many things to consider when choosing a university; we've really only scratched the surface here. The most important thing, however, is to think on the things that matter most to you and find a university that can fulfil them. And if you can’t find answers to your questions straight away, don’t be afraid to ask!

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