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Final year student Pipa shares her tips for choosing the right university

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26 June 2019

Final year agriculture student Philippa Gray has her own blog where she shares her experience of university and what she's been getting up to. This week she gives us her ten top tips for choosing the right university.

"Its the Monday after the Harper Adams summer ball and everyone is packing up, ready to leave their uni houses for the summer. I still can’t believe how fast the four years have flown by. But university life carries on and it's just 2 weeks until the next potential new students come to campus for the Harper Adams Experience.

"So I thought I’d put together a list of things I found important when I chose my uni.

1. By this point, I assume you have an idea of which subject you want to study. Start off by having a look at university league tables to see which universities have a good reputation for your chosen subject. Check out https://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/league-tables/rankings

2. Consider what sort of campus you’d like to live and study at. City or rural? Big or small? This will help narrow down your options, though don’t rule any out just because of this.

3. Open days! Visiting a university is a great way to see if the campus atmosphere is right for you. It also gives you an opportunity to meet lecturers and current students. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

4. Study the course module lists. Lots of universities will offer a course in your chosen subject, but the modules in that subject might vary. Have a close look at the modules each university teaches to find the course that best fits your interests.

5. Go on a university taster day. Some universities run a taster weekend (e.g. Harper Adams Experience) where you can stay in campus accommodation, meet staff, and go to lectures – not forgetting the night out.

6. Look around the academic facilities. For you Agrics, is the access to a university farm important to you? Does the farm focus on a particular enterprise that you’re interested in? Different university farms will excel in different areas. Laboratories, lecture theatres, and the library are all other important areas.

7. I’m sure you’ll want to spend all your time in the library, but look at the non-academic facilities, mainly the accommodation, catering department, and leisure facilities too.

8. Although you’re mainly there to study, student life is an important part of your time at university. So consider the social aspect and have a look at the student union websites to see which clubs, societies, nightlife and events are at each uni. A good work/play balance is important for a healthy student lifestyle!

9. Placement year?! Placements can be a great opportunity to experience different aspects of industry and enhance your C.V. but it may extend the time it takes to complete your course. Consider if it’s something you would like to do as part of your degree.

10. Ultimately, you’ll want to be able to secure a good job after you’ve invested years of time and money into your degree. So consider the career prospects and employability statistics of each university.

"Good luck!"

To see more of Pipa's blog, visit https://agstudentpipa.home.blog/

The Harper Adams Experience gives you the chance to see what university life is like here at Harper. It is on 7-8th July and includes an overnight stay. The cost is £45 which includes your accommodation and food. If you're 16-17, you can sign up here.

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