Sunday, 8 June 2014 6:45 AM
(And why you should be wary of colleges that do)
[two_third last="no"]More and more colleges and universities are now trying to entice prospective students with promises of free laptops, IPads or similar giveaways. This is a tactic which appears to be at odds with delivering quality course outcomes.
The Academy of Information Technology proudly does NOT offer free laptops or anything similar to our students to encourage them to study with us. [/two_third] [one_third last="yes"][imageframe lightbox="no" style="none" bordercolor="" bordersize="0px" stylecolor="" align="none" animation_type="0" animation_direction="down" animation_speed="0.1"][/imageframe][/one_third]Here are some reasons why you should be careful about colleges and universities that do. 1. Quality higher education institutions should not need to bribe you. Free offers upon enrolment are usually symptomatic of other problems. A university or college should be selling itself on the basis of the quality of its student experience, not giveaways and special timed offers. Some of these institutions have student quotas to fill to remain financially viable, and are using the quickest and crudest way possible to get the numbers they need. Because of this, these colleges may attract students who are pulled in by the gimmick of the offer, instead of selecting a course and institution based on far more important criteria. 2. Nothing is ever free. [two_third last="no"]Institutions who offer you a ‘free’ laptop have most likely built this cost into their course and other fees. It is not free. Moreover, if you read the terms and conditions of these free giveaways, you might be in for a shock. Often, you won’t receive your “free” item until you have cleared at least two census dates and paid certain levels of tuition, and you won’t be able to keep it unless you graduate. If you drop out of the course because it is not what you were hoping for, you don’t keep the laptop even though you have paid for it. The devil is usually in the detail.[/two_third] [one_third last="yes"][separator top="15"][imageframe lightbox="no" style="none" bordercolor="" bordersize="0px" stylecolor="" align="none" animation_type="0" animation_direction="down" animation_speed="0.1"][/imageframe][/one_third] 3. Your money can be better spent Facebook, careers fairs and even shopping centres are awash with colleges and universities luring in the unsuspecting public with the promise of Alienware laptops, iPads and more.
As the National Tertiary Education Union pointed out in 2012 when this first started occurring at UWS (see article here) – these giveaways come at a price and this money should be invested into course development, updating content and improving facilities.
So what does AIT offer instead? [one_half last="no"]AIT’s students enjoy small class sizes, a personalised educational experience with a quality academic team, access to industry leading equipment and software, and all other facilities on our modern campus to deliver a positive experience. Our students develop amazing portfolios, are exposed to industry events and gain real world experience to help secure their dream job. We invest heavily in making sure we have the most up-to date resources for your learning experience, and don’t spruik them to you under the guise of being free gifts.[/one_half] [one_half last="yes"][imageframe lightbox="no" style="none" bordercolor="" bordersize="0px" stylecolor="" align="none" animation_type="0" animation_direction="down" animation_speed="0.1"][/imageframe][/one_half]
The lure of free hardware and delayed payments is naturally going to appear attractive to anyone at first glance – but education is about investing in your future and ensuring you get a high quality learning experience and the opportunity to achieve your dreams.AIT urges all students to do their research, be sceptical of offers and gimmicks, and above all, ask serious questions about the value they are receiving from their education provider. For more information on IT and Digital media courses offered through AIT, please visit www.ait.nsw.edu.au