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Mahesh Ramani

Mahesh Ramani is a senior content editor for the Hotcourses India- an IDP company.


17 Aug 2015 30.7K Book icon 3 mins Share

How to short-list Universities

Not sure how to choose a college abroad? Using our search tool, we can help you shortlist foreign universities based on your budget, grades and preferences.

17 Aug 2015 30.7K Book icon 3 mins Share
Mahesh Ramani

Mahesh Ramani is a senior content editor for the Hotcourses India- an IDP company.


Share this article
How to short-list Universities

Once you have a concrete idea of which course you want to study and have decided the country where you want to study, the next logical step would be to make a list of Universities in that country, which offers your preferred course.

The size of the University or past laurels and accolades are not the only aspects that matter. Given below are some points that define the qualities of a good University. 

What Defines a Good University?

Every University has its share of positive and negative traits. Verify and research to ascertain if the institution where you plan to study meets most of the following points:

  • Up-to-date course-curricula and excellent research opportunities
  • Qualified and friendly academic staff members
  • Affordable fees and generous scholarships
  • Comfortable on-campus accommodation and affordable meal-plans
  • A helpful career-placement team
  • Vibrant student life 

Course Curriculum

Eventually your hard-earned degree will work wonders only if you are able to apply your learning in real-life/work situations. So choose an institution, which offers an exhaustive course curriculum and also gives you state-of-the-art research facilities. An institution which allows students the option to continue with their postgraduate/doctoral research in the same campus is a definite plus-point!

Search for your favourite courses abroad

Faculty Members

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” - William A. Ward.

An institution, which has friendly and learned faculty members who help students learn is a great place to study. Also focus on the student-faculty ratio and class-size. Ideally, a student to teacher ratio of 15:1 or 20:1 would be the best option.

Fees and Scholarships

Almost every student consider tuition fees as a major deciding factor when thinking of studying overseas. To a large extent education loans and scholarships help students. But there have been numerous cases where students have had to settle for a smaller and less expensive institution because they could not afford the fees charged by their original choice of institution.

Scholarships are offered by institutions, governments, companies and philanthropists. Check for relevant scholarships and apply; most scholarships help students get a discount on the tuition fees. Some research fellowships and grants cover the entire fees, accommodation and living costs of the student during the course of research.

Accommodation and Food

In addition to the tuition fees, your next big expense will be on food and accommodation. Most institutions require students to live on-campus, and applicants are advised to apply for on-campus accommodation at the time of admission. Some institutions give students the luxury to live off-campus. Select your off-campus accommodation with care and ensure that you do not have to travel for a long time to reach your institution.

Most American institutions have a concept called ‘meal plan’. Students pick a meal plan of their choice, which allows them a fixed number of meals every semester. Students get a pre-paid card, and money is deducted each time the students pay for a meal using the card. Students can recharge the card by paying money and can also opt for an alternate meal plan. Students living off-campus can also choose to buy grocery and provisions and cook their own food. This saves a lot of money because eating outside will definitely increase your monthly expenses.

Career Placement Team

An institution’s success can be measured by how soon its graduates find a job or opt for a higher learning program. Institutions with a dedicated career placement team, which assists students in securing a relevant job is of great advantage. Career Placement Teams also arrange mock-interviews and conduct seminars to help prepare students for a fruitful career.

Vibrant Student Life  

Find an institution that gives you ample opportunities to explore your hobbies and interests. Most institutions have a ‘Student Union’ and also have various student clubs that cater to the interests of students. At the end of your course; you should have lots of cherished memories of the time spent with your college-mates in addition to your degree!


Check various international student pages on various social networking websites; also examine the Facebook pages of institutions; network with friends to see if anyone has studied in the institution, which you have short-listed.

Speak to our advisors and get a clear idea of the costs involved in getting an overseas degree. Research thoroughly before you finalize an institution and always have a back-up plan. To simplify it further, short-list at least three institutions and apply to them and get ready for a wondrous study abroad experience!

You never know, sometimes the institution where you decide to study may make all the difference in how your career and life shapes up. So take time to use all our resources, from the course-finder and scholarship-finder to seeking free advice from our academic advisors. We, at Hotcourses India, are here to guide you in finding the right institution. 

Need help choosing a University?

Nikita Marwah Nikita Marwah,
IDP Expert
We can help you find the right university. Request a call back today.