High school students using social media to choose university degrees

Aug 18, 2019 by

By Pallavi Singhal –

When Sean Torban was trying to narrow down which university he wanted to go to, he turned to groups and society pages on Facebook to see what life at each institution was really like.

“I liked a few of the university groups on Facebook that you could be a part of,” said Mr Torban, 19, who is now in his first year of a double degree in psychology and human sciences at Macquarie University.

Sean Torban is among a growing number of high school students who are turning to social media when deciding which university to go to.
Sean Torban is among a growing number of high school students who are turning to social media when deciding which university to go to.Credit:Janie Barrett

“It was just about the availability of groups and the variation of groups to get an idea of what uni life is really like. There were lots of memes and jokes in some of the psychology societies, it was just nice to see that people were enjoying it.”

“The only other insight high school students get into uni is through movies, which isn’t very accurate.”

Mr Torban is among a growing number of high school students turning to social media when deciding which university to go to, a new survey of nearly 7300 students across 13 Australian universities has found.

More than two out of three school leavers said they use social media to do research on universities, with most using it at the beginning of their decision-making process and others using it after choosing a university to “learn more about their future institution”.

In comparison, only 49 per cent of non-school leavers used social media to make a decision, according to the findings of the survey, which was conducted by QS Enrolment Solutions in the four months to April.

The results suggest that students are finding other sources of information long before they go to traditional university open days and events, which less than half of students said they attended or planned to attend.

Additionally, more students than ever before are looking for a clear career pathway through their degree, as they compete with a growing pool of university-educated job-seekers.

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