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The Max Factor

education Updated: Sep 22, 2011 11:18 IST

Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

It can be confusing when deciding upon a college. Should you choose one that’s close to your house? One with a great reputation over one offering the specialisation you want to pursue? Education counsellors give you their take, and we asked students to correspond with their list of priorities.

According to Iris Madeira, education counselor and partner, Madhavi Desai Consulting, and Parveen Shaikh, head counsellor, Young Buzz, the following criteria should be considered when applying to a Mumbai college.

Infrastructure and Facilities available: Mumbai’s student in the last 5 years have begun to enjoy classrooms that are infrastructurally superior and include all manner of facilities. Will it be equal to or greater than what she / he has been used to at school. And if not, then just how much less / worse is it, that he would be willing to stand over the next 3 – 5 years?

Quality and Qualifications of the Teaching Faculty : Ask for information about Teachers / professors; their experience, their qualifications.

Profile of Students in Class :
what sort of students is this Institution admitting – based on merit, objective tests, diversity, gender balanced?

Placements : where have your students gone? how many got jobs soon after college, did the Univ help with placements / interviews / prospective companies etc

College reputation: Compare the Private (Deemed) University, Autonomous Colleges, Public University subject offerings and Innovations in Curriculum, Internships etc. Remember that the Private / Autonomous Universities have to ‘cater to their student-customers’ while Public universities don’t – they just follow a prescribed set of curricula that may not respond to changing needs and market demands of students.

Extra-curriculars: They add a lot of value to your educational experience. Depending on your profile, they could be lower on your list, add-ons once your academic requirements are met with. However, if you want to be, say a sportsperson or an actor, and are serious about it, you should consider the facilities and opportunities available carefully.

Course content: Don’t go just by the name of the course, but go through the course content to know if the college offers the specializations that you may want.

What the students think:
As per the mini-survey conducted, with a sample size of 10 students, quality and qualification of teachers, infrastructure and facilities, college reputation and profile of students rated highest.

Yohan Chawla, Mithibai College
“Quality and qualifications of teachers is the most important criterion in my book. Once that is assured, interesting course content and college reputation will follow. Placement records are also a good indicator of the college.”

Shaina Nikal, just completed Class 12
“The profile of students in the class is what I would consider. If it is a college that allows for major reservation, the quality of class discussions and lectures would automatically go down. I would rate college reputation next – the reputation has been earned for a reason.”

Kunjan Nansi, just completed Class 10
“My order of preference is this: infrastructure first, then the profile of students and then extra-curricular opportunities. The college environment outside of the classroom is very important, which is why the infrastructure should be of the highest quality. Extra-curriculars enhance the learning process.”

Aamir Jaipuri, just completed Class 12
“For me, the infrastructure, placements and course content will matter the most. The infrastructure denotes the kind of interest the college takes in its students, while the placements speak of the college’s reputation. The course content should offer enough value education in my planned specialization.”

Jinal Shah, just completed Class 10
“The college reputation tops my list, followed by infrastructure and the quality and qualifications of teachers. I wouldn’t want to go to a lesser-known college based entirely on course content, for instance, because there are high chances of the quality of education not being up to mark. College reputations are based on results, alumni profiles and academic environment – it’s a culmination of all other factors.”