At age 16, students who wish to progress to higher education usually take a two year further education (FE) for pre-university qualifications. Pre-university qualifications give students the best chance of entering desired UK higher education courses.
Further education courses are offered in school sixth forms, sixth-form colleges and colleges of further education, where, as illustrated below, students can choose to pursue their desired degree courses through either academic or career-based vocational routes.
In the UK, most students pursue academic qualifications, including A-levels, International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma and Cambridge Pre-U Diploma to get into university.
Students can also follow a career-focused route via vocational qualifications, such as BTEC Nationals, NVQs (National Vocational Qualifications), CACHE Diplomas in children’s care and education, and Cambridge Nationals, to proceed to vocational higher education courses, which include Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) and Foundation Degrees, or some degree courses. Vocational qualifications are modular, and are typically acquired over the course of the student’s career. However, due to visa requirements, the vocational route to higher education is not available for non-European students.
Most independent schools offering university entry courses such as A-levels, International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma and Cambridge Pre-U Diploma accept international students. For a Tier 4 student visa, a minimum of 4.0 to 5.0 IELTS score or an accepted equivalent is required for international students, and independent schools can also determine their own English requirements for entry.
Due to traditions, social and cultural differences, the Chinese education is much different from the British education, especially in teaching and learning methods. Therefore, many Chinese parents send their children to the UK for world-class education. Live Our Dreams is here to help Chinese parents placing their children at one of the UK’s top independent boarding schools. We offer Parent Advisory Service and organise Parent School Visiting trip. We will also act as a responsible guardian for their children under 18 while they stay in the UK.
Check it out below for available school programmes and read more about UK independent schools and university rankings.