After arriving in the UK, you may want to take advantage of the wide range of further education courses on offer. College courses provide a low cost
way to obtain widely-recognised qualifications.
I want to gain further qualifications. What kind of courses can I study at college?
Further Education Colleges offer mostly vocational courses, which teach you new skills and provide qualifications that might help you to find work. Colleges also offer A-Level courses which are useful qualifications in their own right and, in many cases, act as a pre-cursor to a university degree. If you are looking for a place to take an evening class, then a college close to you is sure to offer plenty of flexible options.
How do I enrol at college?
Contact your Local Education Authority (LEA) for a list of local colleges and more information on the admissions process.
How much does it cost?
Prices vary depending on the college you are attending and the course that you choose to study. Financial support could be available; the Adult Learning Grant helps many adults achieve further qualifications at college.
If you enjoy academic learning, then studying for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree at university might be the right further education option for you.
I wish to study for a degree. How do I apply to go to university?
You can apply to university through a school, which is usually the choice favoured by pupils who have been through the British schooling system, or else independently as an individual. All applications to university are made through UCAS, which is the University and Colleges Admissions Service. You can fill out a UCAS university application online or on paper and it will then be processed by UCAS, who will inform you of all the subsequent steps to be taken.
How much does it cost?
UCAS charge only a small application fee. Once you get accepted into a university, however, the costs can rise very quickly. British students pay between £8000-£9000 per year for tuition fees and international students can be expected to pay even more. This might seem like a lot, but the government
stipulates that all students can apply for loans to cover both their tuition fees and living costs. These loans do not need to be repaid until students find work and can afford to begin making repayments.
Top tip: Given the rising cost of a university education, many British people are looking for alternative options. Colleges offer lots of courses in subjects like Childcare, Catering, Mechanics and Health and Beauty. You can even enter the professions of Accountancy and Law without a university degree.
Free English courses
It is always helpful to learn the basics of a country’s language, and the British government provides free English courses to help you do just that.
Am I entitled to a free English course?
If English isn’t your first language, you can apply to go on an ESOL course, which stands for English for Speakers of Other Languages. This will give you the skills to converse in basic English, understand the customs and culture of the UK and pass the ‘Life in the UK’ Test to become a British citizen. There are courses to suit all abilities.
What exactly will I learn on an English course?
All ESOL courses cover speaking and listening, grammar and punctuation, vocabulary and reading and writing. There are course centres located throughout the UK. If you wish to enrol, telephone the Get On helpline on 0800 66 0800.
Registering children for school/nursery
You’re bound to want to make the most of Great Britain’s excellent education system. The following is a short guide on what you must do before your child reaches schooling age.
How do I enrol my child at school or pre-school?
It is best to apply early if you have preferences about the school that you want your child to attend. The first step is to choose a school by looking online or contacting your LEA for a list. Make sure you check the Ofsted reports (The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) for schools that you are considering and arrange visits to schools to get an idea of the kind of environment they can provide for your child. Apply in the Autumn term a year before your child starts. You can apply with a form provided by your LEA. You can also submit an application online.
What is the registration process like?
It is simple, but make sure you check each school’s criteria before you apply. Some may instantly be ruled out my measures such as catchment areas and other pre-requisites.