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Higher education in England for foreign students

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Higher education in England for foreign students

Higher education in England is today considered one of the most prestigious and sought after in the world. British universities, of which there are more than a thousand in the country, offer high-quality higher education to foreign students from around the world. Moreover, only the most prestigious and elite universities in the USA and some countries of the European Union can compete in higher education in England in quality.

Higher education in England is very popular among high school graduates from around the world who dream of getting a quality higher education abroad. At universities in Britain, students can receive education in one of hundreds of areas, study in one of many qualifications, which in the future will allow them to be experienced professionals and build a wonderful career in any major international corporation.

British universities have hundreds of years of history of the development of educational traditions, teaching methods, etc. Back in the 11th – 12th centuries, the oldest and most prestigious higher education institutions in Oxford and Cambridge opened their doors to students. As a result of the rapid development of universities in European countries, higher education institutions began to open in the UK - St. Andrews University in Scotland (1413), University of Glasgow (1451), etc. As the availability of higher education for the population increased, teachers of British universities created unique educational methods, developed the curricula already available in other countries, which ultimately led to the formation of English educational traditions.

As in many countries of the world, in Britain higher education is divided into 2 main stages: undergraduate and graduate programs. In universities in Britain students receive a bachelor's degree for 3 years. At the same time, it is necessary to emphasize that there are four-year undergraduate programs in the UK that involve in-depth study of some specialized disciplines, as well as education (internships) in a partner higher education institution of a foreign state. In addition, students must undergo labor practice. As for the magistracy, as a rule, the duration of undergraduate programs is one year. More details about the features of educational programs at universities in Britain will be discussed later.

Basic requirements for admission to universities in Britain

For successful admission and education in UK higher education institutions, you must first get a British GCSE certificate (abbreviation for General Certificate of Secondary Education). The British study at this high school and all foreign students who come to the UK.

To obtain this certificate, students must successfully complete two-year preparatory courses at which applicants receive all the information necessary for entering British universities and passing entrance examinations. Courses for obtaining a certificate of full secondary education are accepted for education students from all over the world from the age of 14 years. Thus, the optimal period for receiving education abroad for foreign students is after 9th grade. An obligatory part of the educational course is passing the international exam for the level of English proficiency: IELTS or TOEFL. At the same time, the minimum threshold of passage is rather low - 4.5 for IELTS - this level is easily reachable.

In addition, during education, applicants study 11 disciplines, including both compulsory subjects, such as mathematics and English, as well as optional ones, which students choose for themselves, based on their academic interests and their proposed university profile. Perhaps the main advantage of the GCSE educational course is its immersion not only in the language environment, which is important for learning English, but also in the cultural and educational environment, which will allow you to touch the rich English culture and get used to the British educational traditions. In addition, the academic load will constantly increase so that students can study freely and easily at the university.

At the end of the educational course, applicants pass final exams, after the successful completion of which they are awarded the British GCSE certificate. Now students are competitive and can compete for places at the most prestigious and sought-after universities in Britain. However, the end of the GCSE courses is only the beginning of the path to high-quality higher education in the UK, since there are many additional educational programs designed to further in-depth preparation of applicants from around the world - these programs will be considered a little later, but for now it is necessary to mention an important variety of educational program GCSE is a one-year course called GCSE 1-year. The name implies that this program lasts one year, while the classic version of the GCSE requires two years of education. This program should be considered exclusively by capable and developed students, because the curriculum is very rich - the two-year program fits in one year course! At the same time, the requirements for the input level of the English language are not much, but higher - at least 5.0 points according to IELTS. However, the main difficulty is the need for knowledge and free orientation in terms of basic and additional disciplines in English.

The main educational programs for preparing for admission to higher education in the UK


Despite the fact that the GCSE program provides for the compensation of differences between the education system of some other countries and the UK, applicants need to take another educational educational course. Among the most famous and popular options should be noted:

Consider each of the educational preparatory programs in more detail.

The most popular and popular option is the British A-level educational program. This course involves a two-year preparation for studying at the university, representing a transitional stage between a secondary school and a higher educational institution. Students must pass the entrance test and show a sufficient level of English proficiency (at least 5 points on the IELTS system).

The education includes classes in compulsory disciplines, as well as some optional ones, which students choose based on the proposed profile of study at the university. After each year of study, students pass exams, and the results of these exams directly affect the final score obtained by each student in completing their studies at the A-level educational program. Graduates must receive at least “good” in order to successfully complete the course and gain the right to enter higher education institutions, but the most prestigious and sought-after universities in England have high requirements and want to see only excellent students among applicants.

The main advantage of this course is its versatility and widespread recognition in almost all universities, and not only British ones. In addition, many faculties and specialties require only an A-level certificate (for example, medical specialties). In the vast majority of cases, the A-level educational course begins in September and continues until July. Academic load - from 36 hours a week, depending on the direction of study and specialization. At the same time, half of the academic hours are occupied by self-education of students (including going to libraries, reading materials, talking with teachers), and half are directly studying in the classroom of the educational institution.

Another known embodiment is the formation preuniversity educational program IB (International Baccalaureate). This educational course is currently in demand both in the UK and in the vast majority of countries. This is a two-year educational course, like the A-level, but it has a broader scope of the meaning of academic disciplines. The International Baccalaureate involves the study of already six compulsory disciplines, which include the English language, as well as some basic sciences (mathematics and others). In addition, a majors subject that directly depends on the student chosen by the higher education institution for admission is among the compulsory disciplines. The requirements for applicants for an International Baccalaureate program are similar to the A-level: students from 16 years old with a fairly high level of English are accepted for education. In this case, it is necessary to pass a mandatory interview in English at an educational institution.

At the end of the educational course, students take six final exams (one for each discipline), and also write essays on a given topic. A maximum of 42 points can be scored, with a passing score of 24 points. Nevertheless, 24 points will not be enough to enter a good higher educational institution in England. Prestigious universities in Britain accept graduate programs with at least 35 points. In addition to the exams themselves, students must write an essay on a research plan on a topic - this work is an analogue of university term paper. Students can get 3 extra points for successfully completing an essay.

It is worth noting that, in addition to academic disciplines, the International Baccalaureate educational course offers students the CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) course, which is designed to develop students' creative skills, reveal their talents and abilities, and personal development. Active participation in the work of this course will allow you to get 3 more bonus points in exams. One way or another, the successful completion of the International Baccalaureate educational program will give students the opportunity to enter the selected higher educational institutions in both Britain and other countries of the world.

And yet, both the A-level and the International Baccalaureate program are in essence the final stage of secondary full education, the transitional stage to universities. A smoother and more organic transition from high school (especially for international students) to the world of higher education in the UK is a one-year educational program at the University Foundation. This course involves an in-depth study of the main disciplines in preparation for admission and study at the University of Britain undergraduate programs. The Foundation educational program offers a choice of several areas of preparation, from which students can choose based on their own academic preferences:

  • Economic disciplines;
  • Legal disciplines;
  • Design, art and more;
  • Physics, mathematics, computer science, etc .;
  • Biology, chemistry, etc.

The requirements for those wishing to study at the University Foundation educational course are quite strict and slightly different from the requirements of A-level and International Baccalaureate: students from the age of 17 with a high level of English proficiency are accepted for education. An important role is also played by school grades reflected in the certificate of secondary education.

By the way, it is important to note that the Foundation educational course, as a rule, is offered by the universities of Britain themselves and is conducted in their educational buildings. After the next graduation, the university can enroll the most capable and distinguished students immediately to the first year without additional tests.

Among the disciplines studied in the framework of the Foundation educational course, of course, is English, as well as several specialized subjects necessary for students to enter and study at universities in Britain. For the academic year, students prepare a term paper, passing intermediate examinations in all subjects studied every 3-4 months. There is the possibility of entering the partner universities of the educational institution that conducts the Foundation course without passing additional exams - the student must score 65% or more of the total number of points for final and intermediate exams.

After that a foreign student successfully receives a British certificate of complete secondary education, and also passes one of the educational programs for preparing for British universities discussed above, he can apply to the selection committee of the desired higher education institution. Admission to the master's program requires, of course, a bachelor's degree. In addition, you must provide a certificate of passing the international language test in English (IELTS or TOEFL), and for admission to study in the field of physics, mathematics, economics and related subjects, you must pass a specialized language test GMAT.

A brief look at the preparatory courses for a master's program in the UK. There are 2 main options:

  • Pre-Masters Master Courses. Purpose: preparing students with a bachelor's degree for admission to the master's areas of study. The main emphasis is on the qualitative improvement of English proficiency. The duration of the educational course depends on the initial level of the student and can be up to one year.
  • Graduate Certificate / Diploma Courses. Purpose: preparing students for graduate studies, as well as obtaining a certificate or diploma of a graduate. Duration can also be up to 9-12 months. This educational course is chosen by students who are confident in their level of knowledge of the English language.
    • Enrollment in higher education in Britain and the beginning of studies - from September 1 to the end of October - beginning of November.
    • Each applicant can apply for no more than five universities in England.
    • The UCAS commission does not work with the most prestigious and sought-after higher education institutions (Oxford , Cambridge) - these universities have their own procedure for submitting documents.

For admission to the Pre-Masters educational program, a level of at least 4.5 points (IELTS) is required, Graduate Certificate / Diploma - at least 5.5 points (IELTS).

These educational programs are designed primarily to bridge the gap between students in terms of academic knowledge, and to fill knowledge gaps that could prevent students from graduating in England. In addition, these courses are an excellent start for obtaining a prestigious and elite higher education.

Features of the process of admission to universities in Britain: submitting documents

When students successfully complete their studies at A-level, International Baccalaureate or Foundation courses, they can apply to the admissions office of selected UK universities, but you must first collect all of these documents. The UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) special commission, which mediates between universities in Britain and applicants, is responsible for processing applications from applicants in the UK. There are a number of rules that you should be aware of when submitting documents through UCAS:

Of course, the collection of documents required for admission must begin in advance, since the competition for a place in prestigious universities in Britain is quite high. In addition, citizens of the European Union enter universities in Britain in a separate stream, and the documents of foreign applicants are considered a little longer. However, be calm - the conditions for admission are the same, the decision to enroll a particular applicant is made solely on the basis of his abilities, skills, knowledge and exam results.

The academic year at universities in Britain lasts from September 1 to June-July, as in most educational institutions in the world. Acceptance of documents for admission begins in mid-January. However, the UCAS commission comes to the rescue, which greatly simplifies the process of submitting documents to universities in Britain and allows foreign students to submit documents without compromising their chances of admission until June, and for graduate studies - until July. At the same time, the process should not be delayed either - the faster you submit the documents, the faster they will be processed and the longer will be the time for preparation.

List of documents for admission to higher education in Britain

Despite the fact that many higher education institutions, especially the most prestigious and demanded, have their own requirements for applicants, including in terms of necessary documents, there is a list of documents that you will need in any case. Among them:

  • British Certificate of Secondary Education - for undergraduate studies; Bachelor's degree - for undergraduate educational programs;
  • Certificate with the results of an international language test (TOEFL, IELTS, GMAT, others);
  • Letters of recommendation from teachers and / or school principals;
  • Applicant's letter of motivation;
  • Miscellaneous: copies of passport, insurance, etc.

The main attention should be paid to writing a motivation letter, because on its basis the selection committee will decide whether the applicant is worthy of enrollment, whether he has sufficient motivation to study well and diligently in a higher educational institution.

The specifics of the educational process in higher education in the UK

Higher education in England takes from 3-4 years (if you study only at the bachelor's degree) to 5-6 (including master's programs and other stages). During the educational process at bachelor's programs, students are engaged in specialized disciplines corresponding to the chosen areas of study. Each of the educational areas involves the selection of some additional subjects, which also have a correlation with the academic interests of the student. For example, when studying at the Faculty of Economics, students can take an additional subject related to the use of mathematics in economics. In British higher education institutions classes are divided into 2 types: lectures and seminars. In Western countries the practice of “independent study” is more widespread - reading materials in libraries, self-study etc.

Higher education at universities in the UK is a rather laborious process. Each trimester of the academic year includes studying up to five subjects, passing intermediate exams at the end of each trimester. It should be emphasized that the traditions of education in England have a long history and absolutely do not accept cheating, tips, cribs, etc. - for similar if they do not expel (which quite often happens), then impose very strict sanctions. This, of course, only positively affects the quality of knowledge received by students.


The specifics of the educational process in obtaining higher education in England

In addition to directly academic disciplines, students are engaged in personal development, self-improvement, play sports. The educational process of each of the students is built by themselves, because they themselves need to decide how much time to devote to one or another issue - in this way students receive irreplaceable experience in managing their own time, which is an important skill both during education in higher educational institutions of Great Britain and in working hours.

The academic load includes 2 types of classes - lectures and practical classes (seminars). However, even in lectures, students not only write notes, listening exclusively to the teacher, but also participate in the discussion of a particular issue that is only encouraged - discussions and discussions are integral components of the educational process, allowing students to gain eloquence, argumentation, etc. Of course, the case is not complete without homework, which involves both reading materials and carrying out various kinds of projects, essays are widely used. As a rule, homework is not evaluated - after all, all students are adults themselves and must understand why they came to the University of Britain.

At the same time, more important assignments given to students, such as final tests, voluminous projects and essays, are evaluated. At the end of each academic year, and often every trimester, students pass exams, the results of which directly affect the final result of studies at the University of Britain.

Main advantages of higher education in England

As mentioned earlier, graduates with British bachelor's or master's degrees receive a high-quality higher education, as well as a strong competitive advantage in employment or in continuing education at higher levels. This is the main advantage of higher education at universities in Britain. At the same time, many people think that the most important thing is to get the diploma rather than deep knowledge - this is fundamentally wrong! Students who give their soul and strength to higher education in England, subsequently receive high-quality education and the broadest prospects in the international labor market. If we are talking about the most prestigious and elite universities in Britain, then employers around the world, most likely, will not even think about the candidacy of a graduate - higher education in England is so valued in the world.

An important complement to studying in UK higher education institutions is the simultaneous acquaintance with the culture and traditions of the country, as well as in-depth study of the English language.


The cost of higher education in England at the best universities in Britain

Of course, higher education in a country like the United Kingdom will in any case be quite expensive. However, in Britain you can also find prestigious and sought-after educational institutions offering educational services at affordable prices. The average cost of one year of study at universities in Britain is 10,000 £ - 12,000 £, and the most prestigious universities offer educational services of the highest quality for 20,000 £ and more. You must understand that in addition to the price of the educational program itself, the price of services includes accommodation, meals, organization of transfers, etc.

One way or another, when choosing a higher educational institution in England, an applicant needs to understand his own interests and aspirations, set a goal for the future and choose the right specialization. Getting higher education is a very labor-intensive process, but the result is definitely worth the money and effort you can be absolutely sure that after getting a higher education at British universities you will get almost unlimited employment opportunities and an unforgettable life experience.

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