If you are an international student, finding a good educational facility and a university foundation course in the United Kingdom can be both frustrating and confusing. There are many educational programmes being offered. Finding the best one to fit your needs, however, may present somewhat of a challenge.
What, then, should you look for when you first research possible universities? Take a look at some of these tips before you make your selection.
A university which offers a degree programme to international students is now required by the UK government to obtain a license. This new law recently went into effect, at the end of March, 2009. It states that any non-European Union nationals who wish to attend school in the UK must submit a visa application to be considered against certain scale criteria and assessed appropriate points.
This Points Based System affects educational institutions because they are considered sponsors of students whose legal residency is outside the UK and therefore must obtain a special license to do so. This Tier 4 sponsor license is now required to be indicated on a student’s visa application form before it can be approved.
Since this is a new requirement, many universities may not be properly licensed. You must ensure that the university you are considering can offer this sponsor license number before you will be allowed admittance into the country for the purpose of attending school.
Obtain Student Testimonials
One of the best ways to decide if a university is right for you and your needs is to contact former, or current, students and interview them regarding their experience. Fellow international students will be able to testify as to whether or not the educational institution provides a welcoming environment and the appropriate resources to help foreign students become acclimated.
What to Expect From a University Foundation Course
International students who have not established a residency in the UK are strongly urged to take a university foundation course (UFC) in order to be prepared for regular admission into undergraduate courses and meet specific matriculation requirements.
A UFC is usually offered for one year as a full time course load. It is designed to help international students become acclimated to the university environment and put them on a faster track to attending regular courses than simply qualifying for A level. This special course could be considered as an extended orientation period.
University foundation courses should be designed to specifically address the needs of various degree programmes, such as business, engineering, medical, or law courses of study.
Any university that specialises in offering degrees for international students will include this type of course in their course catalogue.
The UK provides a wealth of highly respected and accredited universities that offer university foundation courses to their international students. Finding one that is just right for you and offers everything you need for a successful educational career will take some research. However, the time and effort you put into this process will more than pay for itself when you receive your university degree.