Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Criteria for Selecting a University where to do Your Master’s Degree in Education

By the time you get to choose a university for your Master’s in Education, you will already be comfortable with your subject having done some substantial fieldwork. Indeed this could be a stepping stone towards become a PHD fellow. What is really interesting is that the nerves, jitters, doubts and ambiguities of your first day at University will come back. Here is a list of things that you need to consider when selecting the institution where you will be doing your Master’s in Education:

Are they doing anything worthwhile or interesting?

It is always good to work with the best scholars who are at the cutting edge of teaching practice or research. Look up their profiles and the professors who will be supervising you. If they are working on a project that piques your interest then probably this is a university that might be good for your Master’s in Education.

What is their ranking in your specific subject?

There are good universities that teach certain courses badly and bad universities that teach certain courses well. You need to go down to the detail of their latest ranking by subject or even niche so that you can be sure that you will be getting the best education. Of course some people are glory chasers who would never turn down the opportunity to do a Master’s in Education at a prestigious university such as Harvard or Princeton. However you also need to focus on the specific strengths of the institution.

Are you able to meet the totality of their eligibility criteria?

There are universities that are particularly standoffish about anyone that wants to do a higher degree with them without having done an undergraduate course.  There is no point in putting out your application for a Master’s in Education when you are very sure that you will not make it to the short list. Speak to current and former students so that you get a feel of what they want. There is also no harm in meeting with the professors to get an insight into the admission criteria for that particular institution.

Are they offering you any additional career prospects?

Although we would like to think that learning is valuable for its own intrinsic self; the reality of the modern economy is that many study in order to find a decent job. Therefore if the institution is offering you a career progression with your Master’s in Education then you should give them a second look. Of course that does not mean that you have to put up with poor teaching practices just because you want to get a job at the end of the day.

Where and how are they located?

Often students look to go abroad to broaden their horizons but it is not always that easy to fit into a new culture, language and framework. In any case many countries have put in place stringent immigration requirements which discourage students from traveling there. Think about these things in a very concrete way so that you can arrange for accommodation and living allowances based a true conceptualization of what you will need. Remember that it is possible to do a perfectly good Master’s in Education within the boundaries of your home country.

Are they genuine, respectable and worthy of your time?

In this age of internet degrees done absentia; anything can happen.  You need to be satisfied that you are associating with an institution that is going to complement your skills and give you dignity in your work.  The Master’s in Education is a challenging course and the last thing you need is for your grades to be downgraded because you studied in a makeshift university that was not internationally accredited. There is a ranking of world universities but most of the information is used by undergraduates. It is a pity; because that is where postgraduate applicants should be checking before selecting a university.

A Final Word

All these questions must be dealt with in advance. The application process for the Master’s in Education program is typically very involved. You should think about all these things well in advance. By the time you come to the final decision, you will have all the facts.

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