Further education colleges are popular among post-16 students from overseas as they offer bridging courses for entry to UK universities. From foundation courses, these colleges offer both academic (e.g. GCSE and GCE A-level), vocational or career-based (e.g. certificate and diplomas) courses in business studies, accounting, hotel and tourism, logistics, beauty and computing science etc. And they also provide English language courses to the students who need to strengthen their English.
Further education colleges are closely linked with higher education institutions, universities and industries. Courses are designed in consultation with respective industries. Graduates are well equipped with up-to-date academic and technical knowledge and skills for employment or further studies.
High school graduates from mainland China, or Form 5 or Form 6 students from Hong Kong, who hold IELTS 4.5-6.0 or TOFEL 450, may consider applying for foundation course. Those students who are still studying high school in mainland China may consider of GCE A-level instead.
Course length varies: foundation courses usually last for one year. GCE A-level takes two years. Students will study half of the A-level curriculum and sit for examination in the first year (AS-level); and study the remaining half in the second year (A2) and take the examination. Combined results of AS and A2 is A-level.
GCSE also takes two years while certificates/diplomas last for one or two years, depending on level.
Tuition fees (annual)
GBP5,000 to GBP12,000 per year, accommodation excluded.