How to find a good college foundation course

If you are an international student, finding a good school and university foundation course in the UK can be frustrating and confusing. There are many educational programs offered. However, finding the one that best suits your needs can present a challenge.

So what should you look for when researching potential colleges for the first time? Take a look at some of these tips before making your selection.


The UK government now requires a university that offers a degree program for international students to be licensed. This new law came into effect recently, at the end of March 2009. It states that any non-European Union citizen wishing to attend school in the UK must apply for a visa to be considered under certain scale criteria and evaluated with the appropriate points.

This Points Based System affects educational institutions because they are considered sponsors of students whose legal residence 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 the student visa application form before it can be approved.

Since this is a new requirement, many colleges 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 into the country for the purpose of attending school.

Get 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 about their experience. Fellow international students will be able to testify to whether or not the educational institution provides a welcoming environment and appropriate resources to help foreign students acclimatize.

What to expect from a college foundation course

International students who have not established UK residence are strongly recommended to take a University Foundation Course (UFC) to prepare for regular admission to undergraduate courses and to meet specific enrollment requirements.

A UFC is usually offered for one year as a full-time course. It is designed to help international students acclimate to the university environment and put them on a faster path to attending regular courses than simply qualifying for A-level. This special course could be considered an extended orientation period.

College foundation courses should be designed to specifically address the needs of various degree programs, such as courses of study in business, engineering, medicine, or law.

Any university that specializes in offering degrees for international students will list these types of courses in their course catalogue.

The UK offers a large number of highly respected and accredited universities that offer university foundation courses to their international students. Finding one that’s right for you and offers everything you need for a successful educational career will take a bit of research. However, the time and effort you put into this process will more than pay for itself when you receive your college degree.