In the past, choosing a university was a relatively simple endeavour. As long as it was proximate, affordable and reputable, chances are it would fit the bill. But soaring fees and changes in attitude have transformed students into more discerning consumers of higher education.

Understandably, aspiring graduates want to maximise their employability and ensure a safe, inclusive learning environment where they are more than just a number. So, what should you look out for when deciding where to study? The following are 4 qualities of a great university to assist you in your search.


Most new students are young people whose lives are rapidly changing in numerous significant ways. This leaves them at least mildly overwhelmed, and the best a university can do to help is offer adequate information. A study by WPM Education found that 73 percent of students find access to information ‘important’ or ‘very important’ on campus.

A great university will go the extra mile to ensure that you know what’s going on. Perhaps they will offer an app that allows you to easily navigate through the admissions and registration process. Maybe they have information on their website on locations of classrooms and specific amenities such as printers and restrooms.


Whether you end up needing it or not, a university’s approach to student support is telling of how you can expect to be treated during your stay. Look into whether they have a student’s or union association.

Do they provide any materials related to mental health, financing or courses? If you’re an international student, it’s important to look into how the university helps you integrate with the student body.


With an increasing global spotlight on sustainability, higher education institutions have no excuse not to take the initiative and find ways to save resources. Has the university taken any measures to reduce their energy usage or improve its waste disposal methods? A great university will proudly showcase their efforts.

For instance, this overview of Winchester University from Uni Compare includes a mention of the eco-friendly innovations they’ve incorporated, such as rooftop gardens, natural ventilation, and efficient lighting. Also provided is all the information you need on the likes of Winchester University and other great institutions, making it easier for you to choose the best one.


Does the university consider students’ lives outside of the classroom? A great university will offer after-hours events and social activities where new students can network. They might also have their own clubs and sports teams. Look into whether there are fitness classes and exercise facilities, as well as places to eat.

Another service a great university will offer is assistance with finding a career. This can include upgrading your CV, advancing your interview skills and identifying local job opportunities as you reach graduation. Perhaps they have co-op programs to help students look into new career paths.

Of course, traditional factors such as availability of financial aid, graduation rates, student-to-faculty ratio, safety, location, and travel opportunities matter just as much. Be sure to consider these qualities, as your efforts will pay off in the long run.