There is a commonly held perception in South Africa that bigger is better. Go to a large, recognized, public institution and you’re set for life. A private college is far too expensive anyway, right? In the world of tertiary education, this is not always the case. Today, affordable, credible, accredited private colleges offering high quality education are everywhere. And they are increasingly sought after!
Here are 5 reasons why you should consider an accredited private college:
1. You’re not just a number
I don’t know about you, but the sound of student number 12585 leaves me feeling a bit robotic. At a private college, lecturers and staff will not only know your name, but likely your nickname [even if it’s T Money] and your hometown too. Chances are you’ll also know your classmates on a friendly, first name basis and feel a sense of belonging. You’ll see familiar faces everywhere, whether you’re in the library, the quad or at the cafeteria. This means a college campus experience that is more personal, safe and less isolated. You’re definitely not a small fish in a big pond.
2. Individual Attention
Picture this. You’re one of dozens of students in a lecture hall. The lecturer is explaining a complicated formula and you can’t keep up. You want to ask a question, but the lecturer is marching on and you’re too shy to put your hand up… when you finally do, there is no time. He’ll answer your question later. In a private college this is unlikely to happen. Not only will it be less intimidating to ask questions, but your lecturers will be able to identify areas in which you need help and give you the time and attention you need to succeed. This means less chance of failure.
Ever heard of institutional red tape? At large public colleges you’ll have to fit your plans around set rules. They usually have strict semesters, timetables, and class times as well as fixed courses. On the other hand, at a small college, things are more flexible. They often offer part-time, distance learning, or flexible education. This means that you can study from home via correspondence, and set your own schedule. Have a full-time job? No problem. Plus you don’t even need a Matric to start some courses.
4. Students are customers: you get what you pay for!
At a private college, the fees may be slightly higher, but you’ll get more bang for your buck. Hands on learning, tailored to your needs and a ratio of lecturers to students that is advantageous to you. You won’t be paying for the maintenance of that large, expensive rugby club that you don’t use in any case…
Moreover, as private higher education institutions receive no state subsidies, students are treated as customers and will normally receive good service. If they do not offer you value for money and credible, quality education, they face closing their doors!
5. Interesting curriculums with real industry exposure
The marking load on lecturers is generally lower and consequently, assessments can be more interesting. There is likely less reliance on things like multiple choice questions. Furthermore, course work and technology use are often flexible and tailored to your specific needs. This could mean Robotics!
Plus, most qualifications offered are closely related to the requirements of the career in the real world of work, leading to an increasing number of career focused qualifications.
At the end of the day, it is important to ask yourself this: What are my needs, future plans and how much time and money do I have available? Once you have answered these questions, you can see which college is most aligned to satisfying them. But, whatever you do, don’t be too quick to dismiss a private college. You can thank us later.