Make the right choice

What parameters must students consider while selecting a foreign university for their Master’s programme?

Updated - March 01, 2022 07:06 pm IST

Published - March 01, 2022 02:42 pm IST

Students looking to enter the job market post-graduation should look for a university with a high graduate employability rate. 

Students looking to enter the job market post-graduation should look for a university with a high graduate employability rate.  | Photo Credit: Freepik

Despite a slump in 2020-21, the study abroad sector has gained momentum, and around two million Indian students are expected to study abroad by 2024. Here are certain parameters aspirants should consider, when selecting the university for their Master’s programme.

Academic opportunities: Are you making the choice based on the university ranking or on the basis of a specialised or well-established degree programme? Students must find the right supervisor to select the right university. The key factor is faculty experience, the research team, lab resources, and working/learning environment. Students looking to enter the job market post-graduation should look for a university with a high graduate employability rate.

Language skills: English-speaking countries are typically more popular for the ease of transition and the diverse opportunities they afford. Decide if you can and want to invest time and energy in learning a new language. For students selecting universities in countries such as Germany and Spain, for instance, learning the local language boosts employability and helps understand the country’s social milieu.

Finance: The final cost of education is not limited to tuition fees and living expenses, but also includes travel, administrative costs, health and travel insurance, books and course material, and accommodation costs. So, check the university’s financial aid department and the type of financial aid you qualify for — need-based and merit-based scholarships, grants, or bursaries. Several government and private organisations also offer scholarships to meritorious students. After calculating the cost and the aid granted, ascertain your education loan requirement and eligibility. For supplemental income, scan the university website to know the on-and off-campus job policy.

Post-study work opportunities:The selection of an overseas university should be ROI-based — the expected earning over the years after investing time and money. Search the job market for your target course, average salaries students get after graduation, internships and co-op programmes the university offers, the types of recruiters that attend the job fairs, and the value of that degree in India. A university with a well-maintained and active alumni network is another important factor in this.

Application requirements and course content: Application and test requirements are other important criteria. It will help to shortlist universities and measure chances of admission after checking the requirements. Additionally, check the course curriculum. The content should offer interdisciplinary learning and practical application of theoretical knowledge.

Reason to study abroad: Students must determine their reason to pursue a postgraduate degree from an overseas university and what they intend to gain out of it. If experience is a big motivator, for instance, then, the prerequisite is to explore the surroundings and the location of the university, climate, culture, safety, and the cost of living before finalising the university.

The writer is CEO and Founder of GyanDhan

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