Foundation Programs are primarily targeted for international students who did not study a curriculum which awards grades accepted for admission into UK unis such as IB or A-Levels. These program are set up by universities and other education institutions who wish to assist international students to study in the UK. As a result, you will primarily befriend international students who are from asian countries, the middle-eastern countries and some European countries such as Russia and Ukraine. You will also find students who preferred taking foundation courses as opposed to conventional international high-school curriculums.
Indonesian students who opt into attending foundation programs are usually graduates of high-schools that teach the national curriculum and don’t mind spending an extra year studying for grades before the typically 3-year UK university course that awaits them. Furthermore, some foundation programs award grades that also allow admission into UK foreign universities such as US universities.
Video taken from UCL Centre of Languages & International Education at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG-elZaaSmjoQb93GhiircQ
UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate
UCL’s UPC is set up by UCL themselves where they run a foundation program for the humanities (UPCH) and science and engineering (UPCSE). This is a 1 year course which equips students for university life and its ability to do so is very reputable amongst UK unis. Its classes are set up in the typical UK uni format (Seminars of smaller group discussions and Lectures involving all students of the module) with high-quality tutors or lecturers who graduated from universities such as Oxford and Cambridge. Students of this foundation program are entitled to all the facilities and services (student support, communities, etc) that are made available by UCL. This account of UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate is Provided by Sutan Akbar, a graduate of the program and recipient of an offer for Politics and International Relations from UCL.
Core Teaching Principle
UPC’s main focus education-wise is spending the entirety of the year drilling the UK uni mindset; arguing academically using critical thinking. For example, in the UPC you will be required to write a research project (RP) about one of your main subject modules. If you are doing a research project for Modern European History and Politics (MEHP), a UCPH’s core subject module, you might focus on a topic such as the Enlightenment. A possible scenario in writing your RP is discussing whether the Enlightenment was beneficial to humanity or not. At first glance, the general consensus would be that the Enlightenment was crucial in the development of humanity. However, if you could use evidence such as the viewpoint of parties opposing the Enlightenment such as monarchies and anti-enlightenment philosophers, you could argue against that notion. This example shows that UPC is able to equip you with tools that allow you to manipulate information to whatever you desire it to represent. This is extremely crucial in UK uni as most assessments, especially in the humanities, require analysis of information. A students’ interpretation of that information determines the quality and message conveyed from the analysis.
In terms of progression rate, UPC is very reliable in getting students an offer from unis. Firstly, It is highly regarded amongst a vast majority of UK unis so its grades are well received in the UCAS application process. Additionally, UPC is one of the few foundation programs which annually progresses students into Imperial College London and LSE plus occasionally into Oxbridge. However, there are some outliers such as City University of London who demand slightly more difficult grades from UPC students.
Furthermore, there are a wide range of subjects that are guaranteed a conditional offer for UPC students such as History, Politics and Economics, Biomedical Sciences, Mechanical Engineering and Economics and Statistics. This is an incredibly important fact to note as it will make a students application process much less stressful.
In addition, UPC provides extensive support during the application process. This is shown in the weekly meetings with your personal tutor to discuss Uni choices and personal statements. Although these sessions may be very rigorous, they are very beneficial specifically in writing a good personal statement as the tutors have years of experience and success in that matter.
However, a notable downside to UPC is that its final exams are known to be quite difficult. Annually, there have been cases where students were not able to attend their first choice uni due to their final exam grades being insufficient. This is due to the relative difficulty of these exams.
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