Just as there are many excellent ways to help you choose where you might want to study, there are a few that are abjectly, objectively terrible that I highly recommend you avoid.
1. League Tables
Let’s get this one out of the way first, league tables are a waste of mine, yours and everyone else’s time. They are inconsistent with each other, all use different metrics and the positions jump around so much year to year that you’d think these departments were in constant flux. This is obviously true to a very small extent given that staff and module content might change in their minutiae, but newspapers are writing them to sell newspapers and websites are writing them for clicks and ad revenue.
If you are going to insist on doing this, then just avoid choosing somewhere that’s right at the bottom of the list across multiple lists, but other than that I really don’t think it matters. Employers don’t care, I don’t care, and you shouldn’t care either. If you’ve found somewhere you want to go, then go there and don’t let anyone give you sh*t for it.
2. It’s close to home
This is admittedly a very tough one, and will be contentious - but ultimately it comes down to being somewhere where you can live away from home. I think that one of the great aspects of university living is that it gives you control and makes you responsible for your own life.
I went to Newcastle University, approximately 2-3 hours by car away from where I live, which was close enough for me that I could still get back urgently if necessary, but crucially still allowed me to shape my own existence. Being somewhere else, even if it’s just student accommodation, even for just the first year of the course is an experience that I think everyone should have.
In that time you’ll learn by necessity to cook, clean, socialise and fundamentally become a more rounded member of society (or at least in theory). This won’t be for everyone, and that’s perfectly fine, but living in the sheltered bubble of home will I think deprive you of certain things.
"Being somewhere else, even if it’s just student accommodation, even for just the first year of the course is an experience that I think everyone should have"