High Schools and Tutorial Colleges

The UK is the traditional home of boarding schools, and with over 2500 of them there is something for everyone from very small and homely affairs to huge ancient establishments. The UK is famous for its boarding schools and they draw students from around the world, therefore the top schools are very selective, seeking only the most academic students. For this reason, all schools will offer entrance tests which will cover English, Mathematics, Non Verbal Reasoning and increasingly, science tests. It is important to apply early for the leading schools as they fill up very quickly. Students should have an idea of the GCSEs and A levels that they would like to study and should be A / B candidates to have a good chance of getting into the top schools.
For a full list of UK High Schools, click here.

Boarding Schools

Boarding schools will have some overseas students, but the majority will be British. Note – the age limit on students is 16 – 17 for A levels, each school differs and most schools expect students to complete their studies at 18.

Tutorial Colleges

As well as boarding schools, there are also Tutorial Colleges that have been specially designed to cater for overseas students. The colleges will allow for more English tuition, but also have smaller class sizes. Tutorial colleges promote independent learning so students must learn to work by themselves. Tutorial colleges will teach GCSEs and A levels and there is no age limit.

The main differences between Private High School and Tutorial College are:

  Private High School Tutorial College
Features Focus on discipline and training: Students need to wear uniforms, have evening tutorials and go to bed at a certain hour every day. Not focus on discipline: Student needn't wear uniforms and should complete their assignments by themselves.
Students Resource 80% - 90% students are British. 90% of students are overseas students.
Class Student # Class student numbers are usually more than 20. Small classes, usually less than 10.
Entry Requirement More strict entry requirements: age and English proficiency limit. Flexible entry requirement: no age and English proficiency limit.
Study Requirement Focus on physical and spiritual development. Few focus on physical and spiritual development.
Accommodation Requirement Students need to stay in the hall of residence. Students can choose the hall of residence or homestay.
Examples Bromsgrove School
Monkton Combe School
Sidcot School
Bellerbys College
Stafford House
Cambridge Tutors College

Further Education and Higher Education Colleges

FE and HE Colleges are similar to community colleges in the USA. In Britain, many FE Colleges provide comprehensive academic courses such as English, GCSEs, A levels, vocational qualifications, and some colleges also provide foundation and BA courses. HE Colleges usually provide undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Britain has a strong history of vocational education and FE Colleges often provide more practical courses in a variety of field such as hairdressing, catering management, tourism, mechanics, business management, childcare, design, etc.
For a full list of UK FE/HE colleges, click here.

Students above 16 will be taught GNVQs and on successful completion, can consider going to university. They can then complete their vocational qualifications at a university where they will be awarded a BTEC or HND qualification, which is the equivalent to the 1st and 2nd year university level. If they have strong enough grades, they can then apply to the final year of the university to complete a Bachelor's degree.

Compared to a traditional academic school curriculum (for example, GCSE, A level and first degree), vocational courses are more practical. Evaluation for vocational programmes is based on daily assessments, reports and test results. This differs from the traditional approach whish is based on end of semester exams. UKEAS counsellors can offer advice on the best route for students.

Traditional academic degrees Vocational qualifications
A Level GNVQ
EDEXCEL First and National Diplomas
The 1st and 2nd undergraduate year EDEXCEL First and National Diplomas
Student Testimonials

Huỳnh Vân Thanh at University of Keele

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