The Importance of Quality in Choosing a University
There are more than 40,000 higher education institutions in the world. Most award a range of degrees including bachelors, masters, and doctorates. However, the institutions and the degrees they award are not all equal.
The best institutions are authorized by their governments to award degrees, are accredited, and have developed their reputations based on many factors:
- highly qualified faculty members (PhDs or terminal master’s degrees from internationally-recognized universities), who engage in research, publish their research and win prestigious prizes for the quality of their work;
- a low ratio of faculty to students;
- excellent facilities (e.g., libraries, research laboratories, etc.);
- highly selective admission (i.e., the ratio of applicants to admitted students is high);
- the average salaries earned by their graduates; and
- the percentage of graduates who go on to earn advanced degrees.
The best universities are also more likely to award scholarships to international students.
How can you determine what are the best universities? There are well-respected rankings of universities published every year, and freely available for consultation on the Internet. There are three well-respected international rankings:
- ARWU (http://www.shanghairanking.com/ARWU2017.html),
- Times Higher (https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/), and
- QS (https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings).
There are country-specific rankings:
- United States – US News and World Report (https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges),
- United Kingdom – Times Good University Guide (https://www.ukuni.net/articles/uk-university-times-ranking-2018),
- Canada – Maclean’s (http://www.macleans.ca/education/university-rankings/university-rankings-2018/), and
- Australia – University Reviews (https://universityreviews.com.au/australian-rankings/).
There are also subject-specific rankings such as for: MBA programs – Financial Times (http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/global-mba-ranking-2017) and Engineering & Technology – Times Higher (https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/2018/subject-ranking/engineering-and-IT#!/page/0/length/25/sort_by/rank/sort_order/asc/cols/scores). Whether you are interested in employment or further education after earning a bachelor’s degree, you should attend the best university that you can gain admission to and afford. By doing so, you will maximize your chances of securing your future and be more likely to realize your dreams.