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University Access, Fees & Planning Ahead

The theme of this week’s communique may, for some, seem a very long way off – especially for those whose children are in our Reception Class at Royal School! However, this is advice I would offer to all parents who wish to ensure that their children are catered for either in the near or distant future.

I would like to guide your attention to the fees applicable, in 2017, for University or Tertiary education.

Many parents are in the very fortunate position of being able to afford university fees without having to raid the savings account but for the majority, in order for a child to access the best universities, faculty and tuition a little bit of forethought and planning can go a long way.

With this in mind, I felt it important to look at the requirements for entry to university, as well as the fees applicable.

University Access

For the majority of students who wish or have a desire to enter university (wherever it may be) it is of the greatest advantage to possess A-Levels. However, there is more to it than this as the competition for places is now fiercer than ever.

The vast majority of students follow a very linear and traditional pathway of IGCSE to AS and then to A2 Level. Within this system there are certain ‘menu’ requirements which are necessary to access the majority of universities. These include: IGCSE Mathematics, English and a minimum of one Science (Biology, Chemistry and/or Physics).  The reality is that the majority of universities, globally, will require a grade ‘C’ (60%+) or above at IGCSE, in order to for an application to be processed.

Once the initial requirements are met, all universities, for students aged between 18 and 25, impose Entry Requirements. These are the minimum grades in certain faculties/subjects required for consideration. Due to the fact that many universities are private enterprises, they are selective and choose the top achieving students first.  Place do fill quickly so it is imperative that all students achieve the very best grades possible – otherwise risk being left out in the cold.

Cambridge Qualifications

Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) qualifications at IGCSE, AS and A2 Level are recognised globally. It may well be the case that an individual country will need to convert to a points system or that a student may have to take additional examinations/tests in IELTS or SATs (for the US).

Whilst in many instances, universities will accept AS level results for entry, it is highly advisable to complete the full A-Level programme so that 1. Entry and access is easier and 2. The degree being read is passed with a higher classification.

The reasons one may need a higher degree classification are many-fold:

  1. Increased job opportunities;
  2. Accelerated promotion;
  3. Access to Master’s and PHD programmes in the future;
  4. Increased salaries and potential earnings and
  5. More choice in life.

Application Process

Each university in each country will have their unique way of applying for a place.  Some countries use centralised application processes – such as the UK and UCAS; others use direct application where one applies online through the respective university’s website – such as Holland.  It is imperative that research is carried out before the application process begins so that one is armed with all of the necessary paperwork required for submission.

Once the research is done and the dossier of documents is complete, it is time to contact the university or universities directly to clarify any grey areas and establish a pre-emptive relationship with the university admissions officer.

After this it is a simple case of passing the necessary examinations and fulfilling the requirements of application and acceptance.

Fees

It is a rare thing for a student in the 21st century to obtain scholarships of 100%.  However, there are partial scholarships available to the right student.  Most of these are accessible once an application has been sent to the university.  To give a flavour of the expense of university education, I have compiled a list of various Universities, cities or countries and their respective fees, below.  Remember that the fees listed are only for tuition.  There will be additional fees for accommodation, food, clothing, books, travel etc.

University/City/Country Average Tuition Fees per Year University/City/Country Average Tuition Fees per Year
Chicago $53,292 Imperial College London €10,500
MIT $49,580 Kuala Lumpur $3,900 average
Harvard $44,990 Warsaw $3,400 average
Caltech $40,111 Valencia $2,600 average
Cambridge UK €10,500 Vienna $500 average
Oxford UK €10,500 Mexico $5,500 average
University College London €10,500 Austria €2400 average

 

And Finally…

It is imperative that your child undertakes a course of study which is relevant to them (certainly what was right for me at 18 years old is not right for my own daughters!) but, at the same time, useful for future development.  Parents, teachers, careers advisers and professionals in respective fields can all provide extremely valuable insight into the multitudes of careers out there in the 21stcentury world – use them to show you and your child not only what is needed but also to what a career entails once ‘on the job’.

So go out there and ask!

Many thanks for taking the time to read this information letter. Should you or anyone you know, require further information you can certainly contact me at the school or you can use the following links:
http://www.cie.org.uk/usa/recognition/
http://www.cie.org.uk/images/122564-cambridge-recognition-brochure.pdf
Yours sincerely,

Paul Page

Head of Royal School

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