Saturday, 5 September 2015

10 Important Things to Keep in Mind While Selecting a University in Pakistan

Selecting an appropriate university has become a dilemma nowadays as almost every university is aggressively marketing itself mentioning how they are better than all other universities. This article is meant to be helpful for college graduates in selecting the right university for their further studies in Pakistan. It's easy when you are a topper and have certain distinction that help you in being selected by top level universities, but for middle level and average students it becomes a dilemma to select the right university.

There are more than 25 public and private universities in Lahore alone that offer almost every discipline to study and master. But what should one select if he/she is not selected by the top university or most desired university. What if a student is not selected by the university he desires? he will still have to make a decision and select any other appropriate university for him.

There are some factors one must keep in mind while selecting a university in private sector.

1) Is that University Recognized by HEC?

Higher Education Commission is regulatory authority in Pakistan and it is necessary for universities to have an HEC recognition, else you degree wouldn't be considered authentic. This is necessary to know as there are several education institutes that use the word 'university' in their names, offer a good range of degrees yet they are not recognized by HEC.

2) What is their Ranking in HEC List?

HEC ranks every private university and assign them a certain ranking (X,Y, W1, W2, W3, W4). W4 is the highest ranking a university can receive. A university that fulfills the criteria of HEC on certain levels of infrastructure, technology, facilities etc, gets W4 category award. HEC also issues an annual ranking list where universities are ranked for their annual research participation.

3) Does that University has a good market repute?

Do not go on W4 category thing alone. There are more than 15 private universities operating in Lahore alone and most of them have been awarded a W4 category award. Get an idea of their market reputation by discussing it with the people who are in job market specially in banking, fmcg, corporate management etc.

4) Do they have an active jobs portal for students?

Modern universities do not leave their students after completion of degree. They make themselves available to bridge the gap between students' and employers. Several well known Pakistani universities have started their job portals where they let their students know about jobs and other opportunities they can avail. Make sure your desired university has such one portal.

5) What is faculty turnover in that university?

Is their faculty satisfied with university's human resource management system. It is observed that a university with high employee (deans, HODs, professors, lecturers etc) turnover tend to focus less on students. High turnover means employees of that university leave too often causing lack of satisfaction. Moreover a university that has more visiting faculty and less permanent faculty also causes dedication among faculty.

6) How other people review that university on social media

Almost every university has a Facebook page. Facebook pages allow its users to leave reviews and feedback about their experiences, so do check that university page's reviews and observe what other people are saying about that institution.

7) How many PhDs they have in their faculty

This factor is also important and it is written on the prospectus of every university that how many PhDs they have in their faculty. This indicates what a university is doing on research level and how many research students' are therein.

8) Are their degrees accredited by relevant authorities?

There are some cases when some well known universities were reported issuing degrees without having permission or accreditation from relevant bodies. Make sure your desired university has accreditation from relevant body, for example a university offering engineering must be accredited by Pakistan Engineering Counsel, so is the case with other degrees including D.Pharmacy, MBBS etc.

9) Are they change agents?

Observe, get to ask from others, visit the campus and see if they are change agents or not. Universities are meant to connect students with the modern world and should provide required environment, innovative technologies, labs, libraries etc. There are many universities in Pakistan that just produce stereotypes and not change agents, make sure your desired universities compliments the modern world. 

10) What kind of job you would like to do in future?

Another important aspect is your career orientation. What kind of job you'd be doing in future? do you prefer a government job? or private job? or you would be doing your own business? All of them need different preparation. This point will be explained separately in a new article where you will get to know how you should prepare yourself for a government job, private job and for your own business.

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