Making informed university choices for 2018
Tertiary learning requires a professional approach with a personal touch
There are few better things that have the potential to unlock doors to a flourishing career than a university degree. Candidates with higher education are widely known to have access to broader employment opportunities, plus they are able to demand higher salaries and enjoy enhanced potential for promotion.
With that in mind, whether you are a school leaver beginning your tertiary studies or a professional wanting to further them, the choice of which tertiary institution to attend can be as important as the decision of what to study.
That’s according to Professor Alwyn Louw, president of Monash South Africa, who argues that finding the university that is the right fit with your personal goals, study preferences and time schedule is a key determinant of your eventual study success.
“A tertiary qualification is about far more than just a degree certificate at the end of your studies,” says Louw. “The journey to success in your chosen field begins on the first day you step onto campus, and the value you ultimately derive from your studies depends in large part on selecting the learning institution that best meets your needs and allows you to develop as a person and a professional.”
Louw points out that fully under- standing the importance of choosing the right tertiary institution for your matriculating child, or for yourself if you are a professional wanting to study further, is the first vital step in ensuring the best learning outcomes.
He highlights the fact that demand for places in South African tertiary institutions massively outstrips supply. As a consequence, many universities and courses are very crowded, which can result in individual students feeling like just another number.
“This lack of personal attention can be a significant barrier to optimum learning outcomes, which is why Monash South Africa deliberately adheres to an operating model that prioritises quality over quantity and focuses on giving each student the student-centric experience and personal attention needed to foster the sense of belonging, security and stability on which excellent results are typically founded.”
The Monash South Africa president also highlights the importance of finding a tertiary institution that offers forward-thinking curricula, that are crafted and delivered by highly qualified academics and that ensure graduates have the knowledge and skills to contribute to local and global economic development.
“A truly valuable tertiary qualification is one that creates opportunities for the graduate to deliver a real and lasting impact on his or her employer, industry and, even country, which means that the choice of tertiary institution should be guided not only by whether it offers a particular course, but more so by whether previous graduates have enjoyed access to the networks and career opportunities they needed to maximise the impact they have — on themselves and their communities — as a result of their qualifications.”
Louw points to the vital link that exists between student success and tertiary institution innovation and flexibility. “Whether they are undergraduates, postgraduates or executive students, today’s tertiary learners typically experience massive demands on their time, which is why Monash South Africa has made flexible study schedules and innovative learning channels core components of many of its courses.”
Ultimately, the desired outcome for any student or parent of a student is that the chosen course of study is completed on time and with the best possible results. Louw contends that maximising the likelihood of such an outcome requires an approach to selecting a tertiary institution that involves much more than “going wherever you are accepted first”.
“Any student’s potential for excellent performance is enhanced when the tertiary institution they attend is a good fit with their individual study approach and offers them a highly personalised learning experience in a professional environment,” he concludes, “and at Monash South Africa, that’s what we strive to deliver so that our graduates are fully equipped to take advantage of the many opportunities their world-class degree will afford them.”