The end of high school is right around the corner – and so are some big decisions, including where to apply for university. But with so many options out there, how do you know which one’s for you? Follow our guide to choosing a uni that speaks your language – and get ready for the first day of the rest of your (educational) life. Here's how to do it:
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1. Speak with an expert
They may have been on your case all year, but careers advisers and teachers are a great source of info about life after high school. Careers advisers can help you narrow down where your skills might take you, while specialist teachers can point you towards great degree options in your area of interest. The best bit? This is one of the few times in life that you’ll have access to free career advice, so make the most of it!
2. Do your research
When it comes to making a major life decision, immersing yourself in the research is a solid first step. Make a list of the unis you’re interested in and jump online. Dive into course guides and subject descriptions, faculty pages, career path info and campus life content to get a broad – and deep – view of where you might study. But don’t stop there – sites like the University Admissions Centre contain a wealth of info about key application dates and processes as well.
3. Go big or go home
You can go to university, or you can go to one of the best universities around – the choice is yours. Rankings sites like the Times Higher Education Young University Rankings and the QS Top 50 Under 50 can show you how young, bright Australian unis compare to the best in the world (hint: UTS is the #1 young university in Australia!). What’s more, a great university will connect you with the world beyond campus, so look for international opportunities, practical experience and a social life that’s about more than just study.
4. Talk to people you know…
You know yourself and your passions, but sometimes friends and family can offer unique insights into who you are and what you’re good at. What’s more, they may have also completed some post-HSC study, so they’ll be in a good position to share what they know.
5. ...and people you don’t
Lots of universities (UTS included) do in-school visits where they aim to get you up to speed on their courses, and most also book a spot at local careers markets and expos. Our advice? Don’t miss out! Jot down a list of questions and get yourself front and centre at one (or more!) of these student-focused events. Once you’ve got the course and application info you need, consider nabbing some time with a student ambassador – these guys are part of the uni outreach teams and can tell you everything you need to know about the student experience.
6. Put in some face time
On-campus events can really give you a feel for a university, so make sure you get to at least one at your uni of choice – at UTS, these include campus tours, UTS Open Day or Experience UTS Day. You can explore the campus and surrounding neighbourhood, get a feel for the student community and meet with staff in your chosen faculty. What’s more, many unis (ours included!) offer a range of hands-on workshops, so you can experience the facilities, teachers and learning approaches that’ll define your future studies.
7. Boost your chances of getting in
Your ATAR matters, but it’s your selection rank (your ATAR plus any adjustment points you’re eligible for) that most unis will consider at offer time. Get in the game early and find out whether you’re a contender for an admissions scheme or an admissions pathway that can get you where you want to go.
8. Choose a uni that speaks your language
The secret ingredient to a great university experience? Enrolling in an institution that reflects your values. Passionate about the environment? Excited about entrepreneurship? See social justice as key to who you are? Look for a degree with a conscience – because a uni experience can be so much more than an education.