After long and painful reflections, harassing "pro" and "contra" on family councils, finally, you take the only right decision - to continue studies at a foreign university. Moreover, not any university, but one of the most prestigious universities of the British Empire.
Great choice! A UK University will offer you an excellent combination of academic achievements, super innovative equipment and deeply honored national traditions. For a foreigner it will be more than comfortable there. An indirect proof of that is in the facts - for many years the United Kingdom has been holding one of the first places in terms of the number of international students. It is despite the fact that education here is fee-based for all without exception, and for the citizens of countries outside the EU, it is quite expensive.
At first glance, the requirements are not "inquisitorial":
- knowledge of the language (which is natural);
- a certificate (with an acceptable total score).
And if your language knowledge is relatively tolerant, your certificate of completion of secondary school will not cause much enthusiasm of the admission committee. The first serious diploma, but irrelevant!
The certificate obtained in the territory of the former Soviet Union, is not recognized as equivalent to the British one - there's nothing to be done. By the way, the list of "rejected" second-class certificates also includes citizens of China, India, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Our certificate falls short of the document allowing to try to fill the ranks of lucky students in British universities for one simple reason: in their school they pore over textbooks for a dozen of years - we have 12 (9 years of general secondary education + 3 years of study, combining a career guidance and the final stage of full secondary education).
To become a 1st year student of a British university, sometimes it’s enough to complete the first course of our university (earlier it was 2). But education, even if it is one-year, in our university was not included in your plans. Over the past few months, you, mentally, has been listening to the lectures of famous professors, staying long at British Libraries...
And the transfer from our university to the British one is a very questionable idea.
But it is early to despair. A generalized hero of our story just decided to play it safe and just in case, kept a reliable rear in the form of a secondary education diploma of one of Uzbekistan colleges. Whatever it is, but it opens the way to our universities (something is better than nothing, as they say...). Misguidedly, but it does not mean that the way to a British University is now tabooed for him. The Kingdom in such situations offers a saving option.
In our story, such a saving option is FOUNDATON program specially designed for foreigners. In the internet, they often present this program as the securest, shortest and cost-effective way to a British university. Duration of study on this program, indeed, is only three trimesters. The program guarantees entry only in the case of its successful passage. However, FOUNDATION, as a rule, is not recognized by the UK leading universities, and, in general, they do not treat it seriously.
The most optimal and most popular in the UK pre-university program, which classic course is recognized by leading universities around the world is A-LEVELS. Typically, the duration of study is 2 years, but for very motivated students a one-year intensive course is assumed. Unfortunately, in the described case – it’s not an option. A-LEVEL does not involve study of students who have already received a certificate of secondary education at home. Therefore, the only option the British education system can offer him is FOUNDATION only.
And now, a little bit of arithmetic. An Uzbek college graduate, at the time of admission to FOUNDATION program, is often 19 years old (if he entered primary school at 7). FOUNDATION course is at least a year. Totally: he will not be able to cross the threshold of a British university until he reaches 20.
You are impressed by such a scenario? It seems that neither a potential student nor his parents will be pleased by this option.
We offer to "scroll" back the time and think whether it was possible to prevent this, although not deplorable (20 years of age are still not 50), but not really a life-affirming ending. But first, a little about the already mentioned program A-LEVEL.
A LEVEL qualification standard was introduced in 1951. A two-year pre-university preparation program was originally based on the principle of individual approach to each of students. Today A-LEVEL also maintains its original educational strategy - students at their discretion choose subjects for study from a limited list, being guided by their own preferences, and focusing on the future specialization at the university. According to the results of examinations, which finalize the study, a special commission at the university evaluates the degree of preparedness of students and decides on admission without examinations.
A student is offered 45 disciplines to choose from (mathematics, physics, English language and literature, accounting, economics, politics, business, psychology, etc.), from which he selects 3 or 4. The study takes place in two stages: AS (first year) and A2 (second year). Successful passing of exams is "encouraged" by a trip to a university life – an A-LEVELS Diploma.
It is possible to accelerate the process of preparation for a university. To enter some of the universities it is enough to pass the first level - AS. But, first, there are very few of such institutions, and, second, they are often peripheral, "junk" outsider-universities.
A real discovery for those who want to save time and money is FAST TRACK A LEVELS – an accelerated one-year course of the classical program. Its popularity is due to the fact that:
- in the case of "failure" on the exam a student is given another opportunity to show what he can do (next year re-examination is provided for);
- a reluctance of some self-motivated, self-confident students to sit another year at the school (and it's still school) bench;
- another year is still worth the money, and a lot of.
Admission requirements for FAST TRACK A LEVEL program are the same as for those wishing to undergo a two-year preparatory course:
- age 16+
- a certificate of completed secondary education with marks not lower than "4"
- a documentary evidence that the applicant studied for a year (or two) after school at college or lyceum;
- IELTS certificate with result of 5.0 or TOEFL of at least 500 (varying is possible depending on the selected educational institution);
- reference letters from school teachers.
The thoroughly thought-out teaching methods and high-intensity of FAST TRACK A LEVELS course allow a student to be trained in one year and prepare for the exam. The only condition is the minimum base of knowledge and skills in the chosen subject. (Particular attention should be paid to the exact sciences). And of course – a school diploma with a high average score. Nominations of medalists are considered by the commission out of turn, and preference is given to them in the first place.
The intensive A-LEVELS course program is compiled in full compliance with the leading concept, declared in the early 50's: focus on the specific content of each discipline. The regular control (in the form of tests, but not limited to) and repetition of the material allow students evaluating the degree of assimilation of the material.
Students who plan to limit their pre-university training to FAST TRACK A LEVEL yearly course, should objectively assess the degree of their readiness for this serious step, their intellectual potentials, the level of real preparation and, finally, physical strength. After all, a yearly course will require more responsibility and effort from a student.
FAST TRACK A LEVELS is a perfect choice for those who are truly interested in the rapid passage of one of the most difficult stages of pre-university life. In addition, the program allows you to save not only time, but also finances. You only need a sound approach to planning of this major event for any family.
Obtaining a FAST TRACK A LEVELS qualification for the student from Uzbekistan involves a minimum of two scenarios.
Scenario 1 (the most expensive one)
A pupil can enter a private British school, interrupting the study at home, at any age. Whether it's the seventh grade, eighth or even the second. Then, having passed all the stages of study provided for by the educational UK system step by step, having passed the GCSE mandatory for a British, without extra troubles he can continue his pre-university training program and successfully obtain an A-LEVELS certificate necessary for entering a university. The disadvantage of this educational route is its cost - several extra years of living and studying in the UK cannot be afforded by everyone. In addition, many parents are not willing to part with their children for a long time and so early, at least until they reach adulthood.
To enter the program upon completion of the ninth grade of secondary school is quite real. However, there is one peculiarity. Without having studied in a college for at least a year, you can not qualify for a one-year program of A-LEVEL. The British system will offer you only one option: a standard two-year course. Of course, in this case, you "win" a year (9+2=11), but pay for 2 years and financially do not win a dime.
Scenario 2 (the most cost-effective one)
To finish the first year of our college or lyceum and at the age of full seventeen to enter the program - this option is most appropriate and cost-effective. You do not lose a year "for nothing" and after successful passing of exams apply to universities you are interested in, while paying only for one year of preparatory program.
It should be noted that the presented generalized scheme of options is a "classic recipe" for entering a British university through the FAST TRACK LEVELS program, which has its own nuances. We did not take into account such possible conditions as the age at which a child enters an elementary school (it could be six, and eight), or a possible fact of alternation of educational institutions (both at home and abroad) in the school's biography of an entrant.
There can be many options and, unfortunately, to take into account everything in one article is impossible, and therefore it is better to consult on this matter with competent specialists. The main thing is not to put off until tomorrow, because it is a serious issue that requires a maximum of objective information and careful planning. Begin working on so serious "educational project" - child's admission by a foreign university - as soon as possible.