Completing a level of education is a milestone while finding the right college to pursue further studies is another challenge for students who have successfully completed their School Leaving Certificate (SLC) examinations this year. Putting a little bit of effort to look for the right college can save students from lifetime of regrets, say experts.
“Students will be unable to find the right college for their field of interest unless they put some effort on researching about colleges,” says Kedar Bhakta Mathema, former Vice Chancellor of Tribhuvan University (TU). “Meanwhile, if parents and guardians play a vital role to guide their wards, they will feel determined to pursue their dreams.”
Experts say eventually everything comes down to knowing what to research and how to do it. Republica has gathered some guidelines that can help students evaluate potential colleges through exploration before applying for it.
Eligibility: Students should first consider their own eligibility, says education expert Biddhya Nath Koirala. Students should meet requirements of college and must find out whether or not they are eligible to take particular subjects of their choice in that college. Short-listing potential colleges on the basis of eligibility could save lots of time and efforts.
Affordability: “Since parents will be paying for the college bills, consulting with them is a must,” says Koirala. Students should step up their efforts of finding suitable college by keeping their budget in mind.
One of the most common delusions students have is the belief that expensive tuition fees means marvelous education practice. “Many students shortlist their potential college solely on the basis of the college’s prestige and extravagant tuition fees only to realize that the college of their choice does not offer them the right environment to grow,” Koirala added.
Prevent window shopping: Many students fall for attractive advertisements of newspapers and television. “Students need to be aware about not falling into false or exaggerated advertisements,” warned Koirala. “Just because the school is prestigious, competitive or looks huge and beautiful from outside doesn’t necessarily mean it has a suitable environment for learning. So visit the short-listed colleges if possible and collect first-hand information. Talk with college students and ask them whether the college has been living up to its promises or not.”
Koirala also suggested asking friends, families and acquaintances if they know any students studying in the short-listed colleges. Students can then make the trim down the list.
Knowing the teaching faculties: Those contacts can also tell a lot about faculty members of the short-listed colleges, Koirala further added. “Ask your new contacts and see how supportive, determined and encouraging the faculty members of the college are and how satisfied they are with the faculties.”
Education expert Mathema also suggested students to explore the background of teaching staff if possible. “At the end, good learning environment and healthy relationship with teaching staff matters the most for growth and learning of students,” he said.
College location and environment: Some colleges are located in busy and noisy main streets while others are in quiet locality away from traffic disturbances. “Make sure you are okay with the place you study at because it all depends on whether you can endure unnecessary disturbances or not” said Mathema.
Likewise, students also must consider the means of transportation to reach their college. College in quieter location may not have good access to public vehicles, which creates difficulties if students do not have their own means of transportation or the college does not have transportation facilities.
Other facilities: Mathema suggests students to research about the must-have college facilities, including proper library, computer lab, canteen and sanitation.
Students can then sieve out their college list after considering all these important aspects.
Compared to the previous years, the potential candidates to study higher education have obviously increased due to evaluation based on letter grading system. Among the students who appeared for SLC exams this year, 481,986 are eligible for higher studies. A total of 3,669 schools across the country offer further studies for those eligible students, according to the Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB).