Variety is the spice of life, we are told. And when it comes to accessing Higher Education, the spectrum of options seems endless; study online, in-person, externally, part-time, cotutelle… It is fantastic that education providers have built upon traditional learning and teaching and have embraced vibrant and varied delivery. But with such variety, how do you cut through the noise that education providers are creating as they try to attract the next cohort of bright minds?
Not an easy question to answer, but one made somewhat harder because of the Covid-19 pandemic. See, what the pandemic did for many of us, was to shift our relationship with learning and give new insight into our own expectation management. It made many of us reflect on what value felt like. Each of us will have had a different experience of the role that technology played in our lives as the pandemic raged. Some learned new skills, conquered technological fears. Others felt they were being shoehorned into a pair of heels when all they wanted were slippers. One thing it did help some people to recognize, was where they placed value.
At the University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ) we are seeing the impact of those experiences in student enquiries. Applicants who embraced the technology that was forced upon them, now apply to us to study fully online. In their circumstances, leaving a good job is not an option, but by studying a flexible quality degree online, they can aim for the next promotion. They have identified the value. Meanwhile other applicants seek the value on studying on-campus, because a combination of top-quality facilities and the extended post study work eligibility available at UniSQ means they experience hands-on learning and then put it into practice in the Australian workplace. That is where their value lies.
When making a significant life choice, such as choosing where to study overseas, one should apply the “reflect on the purpose” method. But not just once. After answering “what is the purpose?” ask again, “and what is the purpose of that purpose?”. Often, we do not get to the core of what is driving our decision making early enough, and that is when the spectrum of choices becomes overwhelming. We know that universities all have rankings; by subject, by research, by age, by student satisfaction. So much data that can be overbearing when approached without direction on where we hope to find what is valuable to us.
As a university we try our best to ensure students are making the right decision for the right reason. And to do so, sometimes having an informal chat with someone who can relate to you is a great starting point. So, if struggling with the noise of rankingsor destination benefits, worry not. UniSQ have the great support of Mel Educational who offer personable education advice. A conversation with them can help identify where value lies for you. And maybe, just maybe…. it’s at UniSQ.