It won’t be news to you that University tuition fees have gone up, and fees of £6,000+ a year for UK students seem daunting. That’s why I would really recommend that you are sure University is the right choice before joining – taking a gap year in order to make an informed decision is surely better than leaping in without thinking it over. I’ve found that there is a lot you can get out of Uni if you have a clear view of what you want to achieve. The financial cost is not the only thing to consider when making such a decision.
Although many are not happy with the new fees, remember that no one is asked to pay up-front. So, for anyone looking to come to University, please find out about the new fees system and the loans, grants and bursaries that are available. Below I’ve listed a few websites which helped me get the facts – I hope they might help you. The more you know, the better informed your decision will be.
DirectGov – check out the Higher Education page.
UniStats allows you to compare student satisfaction rates on different courses at different universities (click here).
Finally, if you think you’ve found a good course at a University, get in contact with the department to make further enquiries. It’s important that you know what to expect from your course – how it will be examined (essays or exams), the style of learning (discussion seminars, lab sessions, lectures) and the number of contact hours per week. And at the end of the day, remember that it’s your choice (not) to go!
(PS. Please remember that I’m not responsible for the content/accuracy of the websites suggested above. Do as much research as you can, and good luck with your decision!)