Regardless of your score in the JEE or other engi neering entrance tests, selecting the best engineering college can be a tough and confusing experience for you and your parents. Some factors students consider are rankings, the previous year’s placement figures and the median and maximum salaries offered.While certain colleges enjoy a high recall value due to their excellent academic offerings, some build their brands through high-voltage advertising. Since smaller or some government colleges don’t have big advertising budgets, they have poor brand recall despite offering a better education.Smaller (and newer) colleges also don’t attract a large number of recruiters because those that recruit students in bulk from campuses typically keep away from institutes that may yield only 5-10 top recruits.Also, companies that hire only a handful of students may not feel the need to add a new college to their list. How then to determine which college provides quality education? Here are some parameters that will help you make an informed comparison: Gather as much information as possible from the college website. Try and speak to current students and alumni. If possible, make a personal trip.It’s worth the effort because this choice will influence not only the next four years of your life but also your entire career Check how many faculty members hold a PhD. It would also help to know where the teaching staff pursued their highest degrees. Prominent names increase chances of a better education How active is the faculty in research? Faculty members who conduct research normally have a better understanding of the latest developments in the field. They are in a position to explain concepts better.
One need not be a top-class researcher to be a good teacher but without any research work, it can be difficult to teach well.Review faculty members’ research publications to see if these featured in reputable journals and conferences. Also, check if their research projects are funded externally by industry or government funding agencies. It shows that others value their research. Also look at college activities or those of the department of your interest Are there many visitors giving seminars? Does the department organise workshops and conferences regularly?
The faculty-student ratio affects the quality of education.A smaller class means improved learning outcomes. This can only happen with sufficient faculty strength. A poor ratio means a heavier teaching load on the faculty, and hence lack of time for research and other academics-related work How good are the labs in the field you are looking at?
Does the institute have modern working equipment in adequate quantity to allow students to work simultaneously?
How good are the common facilities? How many books are there per student in the library?
Which e-journals does the institute subscribe to? What is the Wi-Fi bandwidth per student?
Are lecture halls equipped with whiteboards, projectors and au dio-video facilities? What sports and extracurricular facilities are on offer?
You may not find the answers to these questions on the college website. So, you may need to talk to students or alumni you can trust, or visit the college. This is not all.There is more to check. The following factors should be given less weight than the faculty and infrastructure:
Status of the institute: A university status typically spells more academic freedom for innovation
Residence: A fully residential campus usually provides a better learning environment
Curriculum: How often is it updated? Is the curriculum flexible? How many electives does it offer? Does the institute offer many choices in those electives?
Graduate destinations: Where do graduates go? Do all of them find jobs or do a number of them also study further?
If graduates head for higher education, it shows that the institute has been successful in igniting the interest of learning in students. A related factor is students’ performance in third party tests such as GATE, CAT and the GRE, among others
An active alumni association (particularly for 10to 15year-old colleges): If the alumni don’t care about the college, then why should anyone else?
Campus placement: Of course, this should be seriously considered. But it should not be the sole parameter
Accreditation: Does the college have NAAC or NBA accreditation?