Considering tertiary studies overseas? Choose your institution and qualification wisely'

If you are considering obtaining a degree from a foreign university, it's a good idea to obtain as much information as possible about degree programmes and where each can take you.

In Sri Lanka which has become a seller's market for tertiary education, foreign degrees are offered by many private educational institutions in partnership with such universities, to students who cannot enter the state universities. Sadly most of them are not giving the required edge to students after graduation to secure employment at desired levels. Students cannot convince employers how such degrees have made them more effective employees. Having a mere academic qualification is not the criterion seriously considered by employers. Most of these courses are confined to theory and even those few that place students for work experience merely do so as a marketing tool.

Unfortunately not all Sri Lankan students who qualify for tertiary studies could seek education in a foreign country. Those who could do so must take care not to merely accept only what the university representatives/agents say. You should gather as much information as you can about the university and the programme you wish to study and the career it will lead to. Choosing a university to do a degree can be confusing. You will want to be sure you're making the right choice. A great way to find out more about the institutions and programmes that will interest you is to attend a professional counselling session by an experienced student counsellor of a reputed university representative.

It's a good idea to think and frankly express at such sessions your interests, the subjects you liked to study at school and your hobbies and other interests. If you know the career you would like or industry you might like to work in, this will help both parties with the search. Talk to family and friends about their experiences, and share these with the counsellors at the same time expressing your preferences. Counsellors in reputed agencies may be able to put you in touch with students presently studying a course you may be interested in so that you could get first-hand information. Don't be hesitant to ask lots of questions however stupid you may think they are. Visit websites of institutions, courses on offer and careers these courses will lead to and also read through the university handbooks.

Employability once graduated is an important factor to be considered. Whenever they have undertaken their degree and wherever they choose to live and work, graduates of top universities are highly sought after. Good universities are educating a broad and representative student body and providing them with qualifications relevant to the local and global workforce. This is where in selecting the university to study in you need to be guided by reliable data provided by such institutions as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings where they rank top universities in the world also on employability of their graduates.

When selecting a university representative for a consultation and a counselling session a cardinal factor to remember is to check what mix of universities it represents. A good agent should be able to offer a variety of choices for the student to pick from and guide parents through each such option. An agent who has no such mix will try to sell his selected few products at any cost regardless of the consequences the students and parents would face later.

This is where Edlocate is a clear choice for parents and students to make their first choice to visit. We have 16 universities in Australia (all with directly signed binding agreements for representation adhering to a code of ethics) with different levels of strengths, in 5 states and ACT, 4 universities in UK, 2 in Malaysia, 5 in China and two in India. Our counsellors are so well experienced and have visited these institutions, we regularly get visits from university representatives who update our product knowledge and they willingly devote time to ensure that a students and the parents have a happy end result.

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