By Gureni Lukwaro
When you’re thinking of a potential university to go to, there are several things you’ll need to bear in mind. As the typical undergraduate degree is likely to take up around four to (maybe even five) years of your life, you don’t want to make the wrong decision and go through the hassle of transferring. In the Gulf Region in particular, universities tend to vary widely in terms of their size and orientation.
Large universities are likely to have large class sizes and may offer classes in large rooms such as auditoriums instead of normal classrooms; more often than not, small universities are likely to have smaller class sizes.
You need to decide which class size may benefit you the most. Some students can thrive in bigger classes while others may require a more personalized attention offered in smaller class sizes. As a separate note, larger universities are also likely to have more resources available.
Universities can also vary depending on their specific academic areas of emphasis such as liberal arts universities or technical universities. Liberal arts universities tend to focus more broad general knowledge and developing general intellectual capacities, in contrast to a more professional and vocational curriculum. There are advantages and benefits to both.
There’s a difference between public and private universities. In most cases, public universities and community colleges offer good education at a subsidized rate whereas private universities are likely to be relatively more expensive.
There are also for-profit and non-profit universities. For-profit institutions function like businesses―making money tends to be high on their agenda. At non-profit universities, all income is channelled back into the institution.
Furthermore, the region has a number of universities that separate men and women in their classes, labs, libraries and other facilities. At the same time, there are also a number of co-educational universities where male and female students attend classes together and computer labs, libraries and other public facilities.
As a prospective student, you’ll need to decide which type of university you will be more comfortable and suited to study it. This decision will probably involve your parents, so make sure to communicate your wishes and concerns to them.
Gureni Lukwaro is a Writer, Editor and Social Media Manager at the American University of Sharjah.