The number of 18-year-olds who are choosing to attend a #University in the UK after their post-16 education is rising constantly - the last university intake saw the highest number of accepted applicants recorded ever. It was 1.5 percent up on the previous year which had then broken the record. 238,900 students gained a place at University this year - with that amount of people all starting at the same time and will all be graduating together the same question always comes to mind - does it matter which one you go to?

Does it matter?

Of course, if you are going to university you are going to want to get into the best one you can - but what makes a university good for you might be different to someone else.

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Do you go to one with a reputable name? Or do you figure out which one does your chosen course the best?

You have to bear in mind that a small percentage of people that apply to go to university each year use it as a gap filler as they aren’t too sure what to do with the rest of their life, so pick a course they think sounds interesting and spend the next three years getting drunk four and five times a week - trust me I know a few!

So with that in mind what do you do?

Many people still claim you stand a much better chance in securing a job after you graduate if you go to a university that everyone is aware of, the likes of Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh spring to mind.

But with my experience of university so far - I’m halfway through my fourth year, I can confidently say that a well named and established university isn’t everything and with the number of people all graduating year after year doesn’t seem to put you in any better position than anyone else at the moment.

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Take my university, for example, the University of Sunderland - it is by no means the biggest or the best university in the UK but for my particular course ‘BA Journalism’ it produces some of the best students in the UK. The university has such a high employment percentage as opposed to other universities it may be competing against - this is why I chose Sunderland. It isn’t the biggest, meaning you get more contact time with tutors but it is definitely one of the best for media and communication courses. The best piece of advice I could offer is to look at every university you are interested in, in depth. There are so many facts, statistics, university #League Tables and course league tables that would be worth looking at.

This will show you that just a simple named university on your degree certificate is no longer enough, it’s what you do with your time at university, the experience you gain, the effort you put in and the willingness to succeed if you put your mind to it.

Don’t start that UCAS application thinking its Oxford or Cambridge for you and nothing else will do, as many will come away disheartened and disappointed - trust me I know some of these people too!

Do your research make sure it is the right university and course for what you want to do afterwards - that’s what will get you ahead after you graduate not just a name.

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