Universities and Career Success
Posted on April 21, 2014

Top Universities and Career Success

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In recent years, the influx of students from Northern Nigeria to foreign universities particularly in the United Kingdom has substantially increased. There are a number of factors responsible for the thirst in foreign education.

First is the uncertainty in the Nigerian educational system. Since the mid-1980s, Nigerian universities have been affected by at least two major setbacks. Massive brain drain due the harsh economic reality caused by the austerity measures introduced by various governments, and the continuous strike by university teachers which make parents to be worried about the quality of education their children receive.

Second is the quest for quality education that is recognized globally. Such quality education will assist your children to build a successful career. We live in interesting times, where intelligence alone does not determine success, but other factors, like quality  and the prominence of the university attended, language spoken etc.

So it is very important for parents and students alike to be very selective in terms of the universities they will attend. This is by no means a denigration of other universities, but we have to be realistic in our choice in order to build a successful career after university education.

In this short piece therefore I will give example with British universities, which I am relatively familiar with especially for the benefit of students who would like to study there. There are a group of universities known as the Russell Group Universities www.russellgroup.ac.uk, these are potentially the best universities in Britain with largest funding for research and the best university lecturers.

According to the website of the group “The Russell Group represents 24 leading UK universities which are committed to maintaining the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience and unrivalled links with business and the public sector”.

From this little quotation there are important points that each and every student should focus on, first is best research and outstanding teaching and learning.  A key distinguishing feature of the Russell Group universities is that you would likely be taught by the best researchers in the field. There is every likelihood that some of the key texts in the courses you would be taking are produced by your own teachers. So you get information first hand. Another key issue is that a number of the teachers in these universities are the editors of leading scholarly journals, sometimes giving you access to high quality research before other parts of the world come to know about it.


The second major reason is their link to businesses and public sector institutions. A lot of employers rely heavily in recruiting their employees from top class universities. These universities also have strong alumni associations that work hard to support graduates from their alma mater. As such it is quite important when parents and students are selecting universities to consider this because there is a strong correlation between the reputation of the university attended and employment in top business and public sector institutions. In certain organizations some universities have been ‘stereotyped’ as the best, while others as second class universities.

Around 2005 when David Cameron, the current British Prime Minister was contesting for the leadership of the Conservative party, he was branded as an Oxbridge graduate, while his main challenger, David Davis, though a product of a top university was seen as lacking in certain qualities by some news media organisations because he is not an Oxbridge graduate.

The Russell Group universities are: University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, Cardiff University, Durham University, University of Edinburgh, University of Exeter, University of Glasgow, Imperial College London, King's College London, Pills University of Leeds, olanzapine price comparison generic viagra with american express University of Liverpool, London School of Economics & Political Science, University of Manchester, Newcastle University, University of Nottingham, University of Oxford, Queen Mary University of London Cheap , Queen's University Belfast, University of Sheffield, University of Southampton, University College London, University of Warwick and the University of York.

There is tendency in Nigeria to think that as long as the University is Britain, United States or Canada, then such university is good. This is a wrong assumption. A small example will make you understand that. Whichever course you may be studying, visit the website of the department and read the profile of staff. In Russell Group universities you will notice the quality of research, the amount of PhD holders in a department and the pool of research activities done by the department. In fact the profile of their graduates alone will tell you why they are different.

As a prospective student you should always opt for the best, and the best starting point is the selection of the university. So when selecting a university, apart from the Russell Group, it will be important to read the ranking of  universities by Times Higher Education which ranks the best 500 universities in the world annually. This will give you a pretty good idea about the range of choices of top quality universities around the world.




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