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Navigating Your University Search During COVID-19

Published by Afterschool.my on Jan 21, 2021, 02:39 pm

Thinking about pursuing tertiary education but the Covid-19 situation is getting in the way?

Everything is happening so fast that parents and students are left with many uncertainties and niggling questions about their study options. Of course, research on Google can provide most of the information but some major questions remain unanswered such as how do exam postponements affect university application, can students use their mock exam results to apply to their preferred university, or will students miss the next university intake if they do not have their exam results. Even if students are convinced about applying to an excellent university, some may still need assurance that they had picked the right course. 

Another question may arise: will their degree remain relevant post pandemic and will they be able to get a job upon graduation? These doubts and concerns can be put to rest by attending university Open Days. With the current situation, most universities have shifted their Open Days online but that does not mean that you cannot get all your questions answered.  If you need some motivation to do so, here’s how to navigate your university search during COVID-19.

Learn more about the programme and chat with the lecturers

Attending virtual Open Days can shed light and clarity if you are struggling to pick a course or to get answers to any questions you may have about the programme. It is important to be clear about what and how you will learn at the university in order to decide based on your learning style. If you are torn about a fast track to a degree after high school or are on the fence about two engineering courses, chatting with lecturers and sitting through a couple of subject talks can help you decide on the right education journey during these times. Listening to the experts is the best way to understand what you will learn in the course and how it will be delivered. You can ask anything about the syllabus and teaching methods, resources and materials, student support and better yet – ask them about your career prospects upon graduation. This way, you can be sure that the degree and the university will help you prepare for a future-proof career, especially post pandemic. You can also find answers to:

  • What advantages are there in taking the degree?
  • What internship/work placement support is available?
  • What are the study resources like?

Listen to the current students’ insights

Of course, prospectuses and counsellors can provide all the information you need about your university education. But listening to current students share their experiences is another way for you to decide whether the university is the one for you. 

The great thing about Open Days – virtual or physical – is that you can dig deep and get the truth about the university especially on the online teaching and learning method. Most universities have adapted to the current situation by delivering a blended responsive learning or hybrid learning whereby students study both online and face to face, so it is worth asking current students about the deliverables of these methods. 

Do they find the approach engaging? While counsellors and lecturers will naturally tell you how excellent the university is, the chances of students being honest about the good and the bad are high, and a little heads up won’t hurt before you apply. Transitioning from high school to university can be a challenge especially during the COVID-19 period but you can always come prepared by asking questions such as:

  • How easy is it to get one-on-one time with lecturers and tutors?
  • How are students coping with assignments and group projects?
  • How does the university prepare them for lab experiments and assessments?
  • What are the extra precautionary measures put into place to fight the COVID-19 spread?

Confirm your options

If you have decided to enrol in a university, participating in Open Days is a brilliant initiative to confirm your choice. There are many excellent universities and you need to decide what sets this university apart from the rest. You won’t get the answer from the prospectus, and an Open Day is the best time to get the details. Does it offer flexible campus transfer where you can experience a global education? Do the programmes at the university have any accreditation? What is the university’s ranking in the world? How many specialist and industry experts does the faculty have? Whatever questions you have in mind (within reason), ask away – after all, they need to impress you more than you need to impress them on your personal statement.

Interested in joining a university Open Day?

For a start, the University of Southampton Malaysia (UoSM) is set to host its virtual Open Day for 2021 for students considering a future in business, computer science and engineering. The whole series of events will run from 27-30 January 2021 where a range of webinars and free hands-on workshops are available. UoSM will also address concerns about university applications during the COVID-19 situation, proving that you can still continue your education journey. You will also get to learn more about how the University is responding to the current pandemic. In addition to meeting graduates and current students, you can look forward to discovering the University’s scholarships and financial options. Register at https://southamptonmalaysia.edu.my/open-days/ or call the University directly at +6012-315 5047.

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