Here are ten suggestions to get you started:
You can quickly google the top 1000 universities in the world, then filter for the UK, then dig deeper to consider different categories like teaching effectiveness or innovation, student satisfaction, or a “key statistic” such as gender ratio of students or staff-to-student ratio.
You can also see how highly ranked the university is for specific subjects.
Rankings can also look at a university’s commitment to sustainability and equality, and the Reputation Rankings looks at how academics view the quality of an institution.
2. Request a prospectus
A prospectus includes a lot of useful information abut the university, their courses, and the city.
You are also likely to read student testimonials and photos of many of the facilities on campus.
There should also be a section dedicated to international students which will give you a feel for the amount of support provided to international students.
The prospectus can usually be downloaded from the university’s website.
3. Virtual tours
Once you have started narrowing down your list of possibilities, you should head to their website.
Find the area for prospective students and see if there is a virtual tour of the campus available. This tour should show you the facilities on campus, as well as student accommodation and sometimes details about the city.
With 360-degree panoramic photos and videos, you can get a feel of what life will be like if you were to study and live there.
4. Student reviews
You probably pay some attention toa movies review before you watch it, and you might do the same before going to a restaurant, or buy an expensive item, so wouldn’t you want to do the same for a university?
Keep in mind the reviews on the university website will only say good things, and negative reviews (particularly on social media) are usually from students who failed their studies.
Reviews directly form students can still help you make an informed decision. Whilst rankings focus on academic reputation, student reviews focus more on the needs of the individual. Finding reviews form international students can be extremely helpful.
5. In country visits
If its practical, physically visiting the university is one of the best options for getting a feel for the place.
Most universities hold open days, but if that specific day doesn’t suit you can usually arrange a date that suits you where a university representative to show you around the facilities that are of specific interest to you.
6. Use an agent
Some agents have formal working relationships with specific universities. They have experience with the application process and what the university has to offer.
They can also help you evaluate which university is the best fit for you.
7. Use social media
Check out the university’s social media channels.
You will find pictures, videos, and stories on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter which will give you some valuable information about life on campus.
You might find some live Facebook chats where you can interact with staff and students and have any of your questions answered live.
8. Contact the university
If you have any unanswered questions or can’t find some information form any other sources, contact the university directly.
All universities have an international department that will understand your needs and has probably had your questions asked by other international students.
It can be scary choosing a university, particularly if you are located half a world away. Once you have found your course of study and the universities that offer the course, it can be difficult to choose one over another.
One consideration is to look at aspects of your study life outside the university. This could include issues like access to public transport, the cost of accommodation, and closeness to international airports.