Choosing a school in the midst of a plethora of choices is a difficult exercise. When this choice has to be made from abroad, it becomes even more complex.
And yet, it is a determining factor in the career of each student, and will certainly play a key role in the future employability and therefore the career of the person concerned.
So how do you make the right choice? How can you make sure you don’t make a mistake? How to avoid the pitfalls of overly attractive promises?
Here are some guidelines to help you make your choice. Feel free to use these criteria as a checklist before you commit.
1. Checking the recognition of diplomas
This is probably the first criterion that a future student and his/her parents/relatives will look for. If it looks easy on paper, in reality it may require some research, to gain clarity.
The purpose here is not to define the notion of a recognised diploma and to draw up a list of them, but in any case, it is important to cross-check the information put forward by the school.
For example, if a school claims to have a diploma certified by the Ministry of Labour, then it must be referenced on the latter’s website, in this case via the Répertoire national des certifications professionnelles (RNCP) managed by France Compétences. A quick and simple search on the website dedicated to this directory will enable you to check the information very quickly.
Generally speaking, a school that is transparent by announcing all the references of its diplomas (date of publication, registration number, certifying body) is a priori serene and coherent in what it announces.
2. Moderated comments
Claims of a 100% employment rate upon graduation, promises of bilingualism, excessive use of superlatives such as better, bigger, more efficient, more active, overly enthusiastic student opinions…
“Promises are only binding on those who listen to them”, so beware of anything that seems a little too good to be true. Of course, it is tempting to be seduced, as the choice of a school is once again crucial to a young person’s professional future. However, there is nothing worse than feeling betrayed and realising that the truth is far from the truth.
You may think that these oversold schools are hard to spot. While not all ‘misleading advertising’ is detectable, be vigilant about over-promising and pay attention to the comments of students and ex-students, the so-called ‘alumni’. By taking a step back, you should be able to distinguish between the real and the “advertised”, to feel the spontaneity of the comments.
3. Partners who are similar
Another way of validating the choice of a higher education institution is to quickly analyse its partners. What goes around comes around: the adage is also true for higher education institutions, which necessarily collaborate with partners that are similar to themselves. Whether they are other schools, institutions or professional federations, these partners will only appear if their interests converge and their values can co-exist.
You can thus take a look at the partners presented by the school, which generally dedicates a page of its website to them. Here again, a little cross-checking on the website of the partners in question can assure you of the reality of their cooperation (even if reciprocity of display is not always made – in this case, there is nothing to prevent you from contacting the partner in question by another means).
Beware of another pitfall related to logos. Some schools put forward logos without necessarily defining the link between them. This can sometimes raise doubts about accreditation, when in fact the school is only a member of the said organisation.
4. An up-to-date website, regular publications on networks
Finally, a dynamic school is a school that lives at the rhythm of news, events and life. This means that its website must be relatively up to date, that it must occasionally speak out on social networks or in the press.
Thus, a school whose website still mentions a graduation ceremony from 5 years ago or a school that is absent from all social networks should arouse your suspicions.
And to finish these few lines, remember that FIGS Education is precisely there to help you in this difficult choice of a school, among institutions that all pass “with flying colours” the filter of this checklist for a quality school.