It’s important to tell prospective candidates how to choose the best university to study in Nigeria in 2019 as Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB registration begins January 3, 2019.
This is to help them make a good choice and avoid regrets in the future or last-minute change of institution.
The following tips will help you to know how to choose the best university in Nigeria in 2019.
Tip 1. School ranking or prestige
One of the key variables of determining the best university to study is the rating of your proposed school, especially by independent agencies or the students themselves.
If a school is highly recommended, then it means that it’s doing well and has an advantage over others. This is where prestige comes in. People would always hold it in high esteem.
Tip 2. Research facilities
What is a university if not for research? A university is a research-oriented institution.
So, if the school you want to attend has no facilities for you to carry out a research and find solutions to myriads of man’s problems, then there is no need going there to waste your time.
Tip 3. Practical experience and internships
Some courses are more of practicals than others. For example, Medicine and Surgery, Law, Mass Communication, engineering and others.
I decided to include Law and Mass Communication for some of you who don’t know that they are practical-oriented.
A law faculty should have a moot court where students practise. What they do there is no different than what they do in real life when they graduate and go to regular courts.
A mass communication department should have functional radio and television studios. That’s why we have radio stations on campuses. They are meant for students to go there and have a hands-on experience of the courses they are studying.
Tip 4. Cost of tuition
I don’t need to remind you that university education is a thriving business in Nigeria. Many universities, especially private and state-owned ones, have turned their students to a cash cow. They increase their tuition fees almost always.
Some of them have their fees set beyond the rich of the common man.
Know whether you can afford the fees before applying for admission.
Tip 5. Student support services
You may not be aware of what I mean by student support services unless you run into trouble in the school.
Let’s just assume that you’ve a minor problem while processing your admission and you’ve no one to go to. How would you feel?
A good school should have a support staff and dedicated phone numbers for students to ask questions and resolve their issues as quickly as possible.
They should have a functional website and an active social media presence to be able to interface with students easily and take feedback.
Tip 6. Safety
Your family and friends cannot afford to lose you because you’re going to school in an unsafe environment.
You should assess the security situation in where you want to go. If the situation there is dicey, you’ve no reason whatsoever to go there and risk your precious life.
Tip 7. Stress
Ever wondered why some conventional universities have been described as military institutions? Don’t ever try to know why by going there to have a first-hand experience of it. It’s a very sad one.
So, before you choose any school to study, check the level of difficulty with which things are done there, including making payments, admission processing, securing accommodation, course registration, mode of exams and so on.
Tip 8. Year of graduation
It’s a nice idea to know the number of years you need to spend in a particular school studying a particular course.
I’m aware that a course may have different durations in different schools.
When in doubt, check.
Tip 9. Ease of graduation
You may think that this is similar to the one mentioned above but they are not.
This has to do with the level of difficulty of completing a course in a particular department.
There are some courses you’re expected to finish within a specified period of time but you spend additional years before graduation.
Stories have been told of undergraduates who dropped out of school because of their inability to graduate after doing their best or meeting all requirements.
Tip 10. Level of corruption
The university system is a cesspit of corruption but it’s more pronounced in some institutions than others.
Corruption manifests in various ways. It may be in the form of extortion, lecturers soliciting sex for marks, sale of unapproved course material and other forms beyond human comprehension.
Tip 11. Infrastructure
Do you know that some higher institutions have no lecture halls and seats? This makes the environment unconducive for teaching and learning.
Some students stand up to receive lectures in makeshift accommodations or dilapidated structures.
Others sit on windows while a few others hang around and peep through the windows or any other available opening to receive lectures.
Tip 12. Environment
Before you apply for admission in any school, make sure you know how the environment looks like.
Ascertain whether or not the environment is serene. Is it peaceful, calm, unruffled and unaffected by disturbance?
What about the weather? Is it clement? Can you feel comfortable staying there throughout the duration of your studies?
Tip 13. Hostel accommodation
I deliberately decided to separate this from infrastructure because it deserves a special treatment.
Know the nature of the school hostel. Check whether it’s habitable. Is it noisy, messy?
Ask if there is water supply there. What about power supply? Or won’t you need electricity? Are there toilet facilities in the school and in what condition?
Know what goes on there. What are the kinds of students living there? Would they have a corrupting influence on you?
Tip 14. Cost of living
What is the cost of living on campus? Do you need to buy water and at what cost? Do you have to pay for charging your phone and other gadgets?
If you would live off-campus, know whether your school is located in the city centre or in highbrow area where you would be expected to live like princes and princesses even if you’re none.
Ask about the cost of rent. Check whether there are basic amenities there like access road, potable water and electricity. Know if the house has conveniences.
Know the cost of transportation to and from school. Do you need to board commercial motorcycles or taxis to go to school or get home? Do you need to charter the vehicle alone to get to your destination?
Tip 15. Social life
You may not consider this important but it’s as important as all other ones.
Before you go to a school, know how people live and interact there.
Do I even need to tell you that men and women do not mingle freely in some places in Nigeria?
Know whether the host community is friendly and tolerant.
Ascertain what it means to move around freely and get home safely.
Tip 16. Strike
This is something that doesn’t need introduction. It’s a regular feature of Nigeria’s educational system.
Industrial actions are more pronounced in some schools than others. In private ones, they are unheard of or less frequent.
It’s not a good idea for you to gain admission in an institution whose academic calendar is punctuated by frequent strikes. This causes untold hardship for students and extends their graduation year.
Tip 17. Employers’ confidence
The last but not the least is the degree of confidence reposed on your school by employers.
If they don’t see anything good in your school, the implication is that they would always look the other way when you approach them for a job.
They question the certificate you’re parading and do not place premium on it.
It’s now left for you to consider the above parameters on how to choose the best university to study in Nigeria in 2019 before you buy your JAMB form.
This will go a long way in guiding you through a list of possible alternatives and prevent you from picking at random and regretting later.
I’ve also written another post on how to choose the best course to study at university in 2019 to also help you make informed decisions regarding your admission and future career.
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