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How To Identify the Ideal Course for You

Finding the perfect course for further study can be daunting with the overwhelming amount of information available! The list of existing course options is constantly expanding and ever-changing. How does one choose? To ascertain that a course is the best option for you, here are some factors to consider:

Long-term goals

The key is to understand your strengths and how to utilise them to ensure you have chosen the best career path and a course that fits accordingly. It is also important to consider that once you graduate, your chosen course aligns with your long-term goals. Think about where you see yourself and what you want to be doing in the future.

International recognition

It is imperative to verify that the course being offered at any institution has qualifications and accreditations that are internationally recognised. It is therefore advisable to ask teachers and reputable agents for advice concerning the recognition of an institution and the courses it offers.

University ranking

Although websites can be a powerful tools to assist students research their study options, some less reputable institutions may falsely claim they have a “World Ranking”. Students are advised to exercise great caution in believing such claims, and ensure that the claims made by the institution can be independently verified. There are also numerous ranking tables that may not be relevant to a student’s requirements.


Students have several options when applying to a university. They can email the university, apply directly to the university online, apply through UCAS or a similar central system, or approach an agent to assist them.

Australian universities normally redirect a student’s inquiry to an agent. This is done to ensure that the student complies with the Government Genuine Temporary Entrant requirements when they apply for the visa. Some UK universities give more prompt consideration to an application that has come directly via an agent, rather than via UCAS or similar organisations.

Unfortunately, there has been a growth in the number of agents in Zimbabwe whose actions are driven by the commission an institution offers, or the fee they charge students. In many cases, they are not considering the student’s best interest. Ask teachers or students who have already gone to an institution for a recommendation of a reputable, experienced agent.


It is vital to consider all the costs involved when deciding if your choice of destination is affordable. Expenses vary considerably from country to country, so understanding the local cost of living should be factored into your decision. Costs you will incur, in addition to the fees, include: the cost of accommodation, food, clothes, and any resources required for the course, such as a computer, protective clothing etc, transport, entertainment, and medical cover. You may also have significant overheads before leaving for studies, such as an English Language test, medical examination, visa fees, and the airfare to your destination. Make sure you budget accordingly!


Often students are interested in obtaining a scholarship to an institution to help offset their tuition fees. Currently, a number of Australian and UK universities are offering partial scholarships to assist students. Whilst a welcome gesture, it is just a discount on the fees and usually does not include the cost of living in the country. Regrettably, very few institutions provide full scholarships. It is extremely rare to be granted a full scholarship for undergraduate study. A full scholarship is normally offered world-wide and is highly competitive, even for exceptionally high-achievers. Take caution with agents or institutions that offer scholarships freely. Students have been known to arrive in a country to discover they do not have a scholarship.


While the most crucial consideration should be the relevance of the course, it is also essential to ensure that you will be comfortable in an environment where you are studying. This entails researching the customs, language, climate, and even the cuisine of the country where you plan to study.

Work opportunities

Countries have different regulations concerning a student’s right to work during their studies. It is critical that you find out if the immigration rules allow you to work and for how many hours per week/fortnight whilst you are studying. Students should ensure they do not jeopardise their studies by working too many hours during the term time, rather take advantage of full-time working opportunities in the holidays.

Post studies work visa

Many students wish to stay and work in the country where they studied. Only a few countries offer this option so it is important to check the immigration rules for the country in which you wish to study. Your agent can also verify the current rules for you. Some countries change their visa requirements bi-annually.

How can Macpherson Education Services help you?

Macpherson Education Services has operated for 27 years, making us experts in our field. Our services are free as the universities pay us to assist students. These services include course counselling, assistance with university selection, advice on accommodation, as well as pre-departure information. We take the stress out of your hands, handling all the applications, including the visas. Remember that as this service is free, you cannot save any money or time by ‘doing it yourself’ online.

MES is currently open from 9am till 3pm, and are covid-19 safety compliant. Do visit us at 9 Balmoral Gardens, corner of Eighth Street and Fife Avenue Harare. For an appointment, contact Judi Ward on 0772231990, email or phone the office on 0772236290.

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