Getting a degree from a Russell Group university could open opportunities for you not only at home, but the world over. These institutions have an international brand, and having a degree from one of these institutions makes your CV stand out. It also gives you a leg up if you’re applying for internships or graduate school somewhere else.
All of this is in part due to the fact that these universities are very selective in their admission process. However, while academics will play a major role when it comes to getting accepted or not, there are also various other factors that you’ll need to consider. Here are a few tips for anyone trying to enrol in a top UK university, and things you should consider before enrolling.
What Universities Are Looking For
Good grades and test scores are usually the first thing universities look at. The more selective the university, the better these usually need to be if you want to have a realistic chance of getting accepted. Additional qualifiers like a critical thinking admission test may be required as well, so you’ll have to be prepared for that.
However, you should also know that high marks might not be enough to get accepted into certain universities, and culture could also have a major impact. In some cases, universities will prefer students who can enrich the culture of the uni over a student with a slightly higher score.
Many universities want to see a well-rounded applicant as well as a top performer. This is why you want to highlight these traits in your application, whether you’re a top athlete, gifted artist, an exceptional volunteer or come from an unusual cultural background. Don’t take it personally if they reject you, however; the most competitive schools reject 90% of all applicants, so try to apply for as many schools as you can if you want to get into one.
How to Know Which Universities Are Really at the Top
Nearly every university brochure or website is going to say that they’re world-class, internationally known, or have a top-notch programme. But outside of universities like Cambridge, Leeds, and Oxford, it is hard to know if that’s true.
In addition, an elite school isn’t necessarily going to provide a great education in every field. When you’re researching universities, you want to attend one that has one of the top programmes in the field you want to study.
A university with a great theatre programme may not be worthwhile if you want to study nursing or engineering, for example. You might think that getting your degree from a top university based on ranking alone will automatically give you a leg up, but employers will usually have a good knowledge of which universities produce the best candidates for them, so this is what you should pay the most attention to.
If you already have a short list of potential universities, one thing you could do is see if your top choice is listed on Uni Compare. Their list of universities shows rankings by region or the country as a whole. You can see their average entry tariff, and, in many cases, you can see the percentage of graduates in work and estimated graduate salary. This information can help you determine which institutions award you with a degree that employers truly value.
Look into Lodging Options
You might also assume that a highly ranked university will automatically have tons of great lodging options, but that’s not always the case. Not all top-level universities pay the same attention to lodging, and you might be disappointed by the options that they have to offer.
If comfort is important to you, one of the things you could do is look into luxury student accommodation. But still, this might not be available everywhere, and this could be a deal breaker for some. So, before choosing a university, take a good look at the student houses and halls, and see if they meet your expectations.
How to Take Quality of Life into Account
Many students choose a university based on the extracurricular clubs and sports that it has to offer, and it is true that the university extracurricular activities may be excellent opportunities to enhance your skills, make connections, or enjoy yourself. However, this should be secondary to academics and the overall quality of life on campus.
You wouldn’t want to attend a university where it is dangerous to leave the walled campus, for instance. Furthermore, the school should have proper safety measures. Do they give students proper identity cards and control access to student housing? Do they provide campus security and support services? These are all things you’ll need to look at before you make your final choice.
The Importance of Long-Term Support
The best schools offer an excellent return on the investment, and you should go for a school that has a strong alumni network and career services. Good career services counsellors can help students find internships to gain critical initial experience and hook unemployed graduates up with good jobs.
Getting into a top university in the UK can be a challenge, but you can improve the odds of getting in by preparing your application and earning top marks. However, you’ll get the most out of the experience if you apply to universities that are truly a fit with your career goals, budget and needs.