If you are a student who is not a resident of a European Union country, then there are certain requirements you must know about in order to attend foundation courses at a United Kingdom facility. Here is a general outline of those standards that must be met at most educational institutions offering degree programs to foreign nationals.
Any international student wishing to attend a school in the UK must obtain the appropriate visa. New this year to the process is a points system instituted by the government.
Tier 4 is the level of points applicable to students. As part of their visa application, prospective students must include the sponsor license number of a properly accredited and licensed university. Be sure you have this number in place before submitting your visa application.
First and foremost you will be required to have a minimum number of General Certificates of Secondary Education (GCSE). Usually these must include courses in English and Mathematics, for any number of degree programs, although there are some equivalency standards which may apply in your specific case. Some universities will also ask for a certificate of your secondary school completion.
Many times there is a minimum age requirement, as well. Most universities accepting international students ask that students are at least 17 years old. This is no doubt due to a certain level of maturity required to attend an institution of higher learning in a foreign land.
For students whose first language is other than English, an optimal score on the International English Language Testing System is a must. Some universities offer their own internal testing system if this requirement has not been met. Support for further study in the English language is usually provided by the university foundation course.
About University Foundation Courses
University foundation courses (UFCs) are designed to give a student unfamiliar with certain concepts and terminology the opportunity to develop a further understanding and the necessary skills to complete the coursework for various degrees. A UFC generally lasts three to four terms and replace the matriculation requirement that students reach A level to register for courses and begin their academic career.
There are certain core modules which will be taught in a UFC. These modules will relate directly to a student's proposed degree coursework. Instruction is usually accomplished through traditional university lectures, tutorials, group studies, and individual coursework. End of course examinations will determine the student's final mark.
Students who complete the foundation program must do so with a minimum acceptable grade and the expectation that English language skills will have been further developed.
For students living outside the EU who wants to attend a university in the UK, taking university foundation courses is an excellent way to fast track to degree coursework. These classes teach more than just the basics; they provide an extended orientation into the country itself and a way for foreign nationals to feel welcomed and accepted before plunging directly into studies.