By Karen Lomas
Applying for university or TAFE courses for 2021 is going to be different to previous years. There are so many uncertainties at present and there’s a lot of uncertainty. It’s not clear whether the funding proposals will pass, but at the moment it is looking like some courses are going to be much cheaper and others much more expensive. Certain courses may only be offered online, and it isn’t out of the question that there could be a delay in the commencement of courses in 2021.
Below are some tips for choosing a course – things to consider and how to apply.
What to consider when choosing a course
Do you like to learn by doing hands-on tasks, or by listening to lectures; reading and researching? Are you happier in a class of people you can see each week and with a teacher who you will get to know, or does that not matter too much to you?
Consider what you love doing and what you’re good at. If you’re studying Math Methods and enjoy it, what courses need Math Methods? Maybe they would also be interesting to you.
Examine the details of the course content
Learn the language of higher education courses; for example, majors, minors, units, electives. Navigate your way to the course handbook on a university website so as to get every bit of information on a course of interest.
Course maps, found within the webpage of courses, show you how each semester of each year might look in terms of what you will be studying. Once you have a course map open, you can usually click on a unit of study to read more detail. A unit of study is an individual subject within the course.
On-campus, online or blended learning?
The individual institutions are keen to ensure that students and prospective students are updated regularly. Their websites are the most reliable source of information.
Some universities are more experienced in the delivery of online courses than others. However, there has been rapid change in recent years and with technological advances, including the use of webinar platforms, lectures can be recorded and slides shared.
Where it is not possible for a course to be delivered online, for every aspect of the study, institutions are offering a mixture of both on-campus, where and when possible, and online learning. This is referred to as blended learning.
Applying for a course
Year 12s and recent graduates will apply for their TAFE or university courses through the admissions centre for their state or territory. If you are applying for a place in a course at an interstate university, refer to the relevant admissions centre. Familiarise yourself with the information provided on the website of the relevant admission centres.
People are understandably concerned about what 2021 will look like, regarding the delivery and cost of courses. We’re all in this together and we will come out the other side of Covid-19. All plans should have a bit of fluidity and flexibility, even at the best of times.
Karen is a career coach specialising in early career exploration for school-aged students. This article is an edited excerpt of a longer blog post, published with permission — you can read the full version here.