As you make BIG decisions about what you want to learn (which will determine what you will do for the rest of your life), you also need to decide where you will study. Universities, FETs and Technology Universities differ in many ways. Here are a few things to consider when comparing the pros and cons of different education providers and deciding which campus is right for you.
Where are they
The campus can be a city center, suburbs, in rural centers, or just rural areas. Each city has unique personalities and activities to offer, so think about the different lifestyle, living expenses, transportation, and people who are most attractive to you. You might prefer sunshine and beach areas like Cape Town and Durban, or the hustle and bustle of big city life like Johannesburg and Pretoria.
The size of each campus has a large effect on the atmosphere, social life and facilities of each institution. Large institutions such as Johannesburg University and Stellenbosch University have tens of thousands of students, while some small institutions only have a few dozen. Some campuses are spread across hundreds of MA while others are limited to one central campus.
How difficult they are to enter
In general, universities, especially the top institutions in South Africa, are more difficult to get access than other universities, the University of Technology and the FET. If you are worried about meeting the admission requirements for a particular course, it might be best to apply to several places, including non-competitive campuses.
Facilities and services
What academic resources, student support services, and recreational facilities are available? Large campuses have the convenience of small towns – you can get everything from haircuts to four-course dishes. On some small campuses you can’t even get coffee, but you can enjoy a more intimate atmosphere.
Who is there
There may or may not be many mature students, school graduates, part-time students or overseas students. You can search the institution’s website for more information about their alumni. You will be surprised at how many famous people attend tertiary institutions!
Style and ethos
Difficult to describe, but no two campuses feel the same way. Some look serious and scientific, while others are bohemian, political, sports crazy, religious, or all about fun. So choose wisely because you will spend several years there to complete the program you choose and you don’t want to be stuck in a place where you don’t feel welcome!