IELTS Speaking Part 3 topic: Universities

1. Is higher education too expensive in your country?
2. Should all students pay for their university education? Why?
3. What advantages do universities bring to the society? Is it the same in your country?
4. Which is more important, research or teaching? Why?
5. How should students spend their summer vacations? How do/did you spend it?
6. What are the advantages of private universities than public universities?

Q. 1: Is higher education too expensive in your country?
Answer: Universities in my country, that are run by the government, offer higher education for free. The cost to pursue higher education in such a university is much cheaper than that of private universities. However, the number of students seeking to enrol in post graduation courses is much higher than the actual number of seats offered by the state-run universities and colleges. As a result, many students mostly from affluent families, get admitted to private universities and pay a hefty tuition fee.

Q. 2: Should all students pay for their university education? Why?
Answer: I do not think that the university cost should be paid solely by the students and their guardians. Since the government allocate budget for the education sector and a major portion of it goes for higher education and research facilities, state-run universities must offer free education. On top of that, the government has a responsibility to spend the taxpayers’ money in social welfare and free or cheap education should be a top priority.

Q. 3: What advantages do universities bring to the society? Is it the same in your country?
Answer: Universities are the lighthouse of society and they produce enlighted citizens who lead the country. Universities not only educate the youth and prepare them for their future but also carry on important research works that benefit the society as well as the country. For instance, many inventions and medicines that we are familiar with were actually the results of university projects and research. Thus universities serve both the society and the country in numerous ways that have a direct correlation with the overall development of a nation. I am proud to say that universities in my country also play the same role.

Q. 4: Which is more important, research or teaching? Why?
Answer: I think that’s a tough question to answer. However, my personal opinion is that both are required. While proper teaching ensures that young students are getting the education they need to prepare themselves for future, research works, on the other hand, help solve practical problems and contribute to the advancement of the country. I also feel that more students, along with the teachers, should be involved in research works in our universities.

Q. 5: How should students spend their summer vacations? How do/did you spend it?
Answer: I personally feel that long vacations should be spent wisely. Since students have more than two months during their summer vacations, they should plan prior to the vacation to make the best out of it. They can travel for one to two weeks, get involved in some sort of paid job to gain some practical experience, enrol in skill development courses, study the subjects they find challenging and can do some voluntary works for the community they live in.

I usually plan well-ahead of the vacation and so far I have travelled extensively, done some part-time jobs, read many books, visited my grandparents and taken three skill development courses including a language course during my summer vacations in my college. Next year I am planning to visit Italy for a couple of weeks and take a graphic designing course.

Q. 6: What are the advantages of private universities than public universities?
Answer: From my personal experience I can say private universities are more disciplined and update their curriculum frequently to make the course more useful to the students. The study environment in a private university is often better as the authority does not allow politics or such activities there. Many private universities have better labs and research facilities which is an added advantage. Since they finish the course within the speculated timeframe, they help students avoid session jam and start their career early. Harvard, Yale, Stanford, MIT are a few of the world-renowned private universities which have maintained an excellent academic environment and research works and show how some private universities could indeed be better than many public universities.

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