In this period of globalization, it is important for all the international students to prepare them for the competitive world. They need to learn and understand the challenges of foreign countries and prepare them to survive and cope up with international needs and demands. You will see the Importance of Foundation Year in UK Higher Education in this section.
Importance of Foundation Year in UK Higher Education
In the case of developing or under-developed countries, it is impossible to compete in the international world with the local education system. Students need to increase their sphere of knowledge and learning quality from developed countries and adopt their new process (Bleznick, 1950). So to get a better education and learning students from different developing and underdeveloped countries are coming to the UK, the USA, and other developed countries. Because all the well-known, renowned and well-equipped universities are found in these countries which are ranked the world’s best universities of all. But students suffer to adjust to the environment of the new country and their culture. They start to feel the differences in their culture, education system, the pattern of learning and living style of the people. They also start to feel the differences between entry-level students and the existing level students’ quality after completing their education. Overall they feel the dilemma in adjustment and it became difficult with time if they cannot cope up with the situation properly. So to make the students comfortable and reduce their problems and place them in a better way foundation year concept started their journey (Bleznick, 1950).
Defining Foundation Year
To minimize the existing and required knowledge gap of the learners, the first world countries or the developed countries started Foundation year concept for the new entrants of different universities from different countries (Eckert, 1953). It is the concept to make the new entrants comfortable with the new system, policy, process and standards to survive in a different environment.
Importance of Foundation year for students from different parts of the world
For all of the students, it is not easy to become comfortable outside their comfort zone or their known place. So it is a very difficult time for the students’ shifts from one country to another to accommodate them comfortably in that new place. It is not easy to change their residential region. Though most of the students’ main objective of going from their home country to abroad is to achieve higher education, it is not easy for them to adjust to the whole environment and culture (Eckert, 1953). Overall it is very important for them to have an understanding and basic learning about the education pattern and adjusting knowledge in the new country. So after considering all of the factors it can be said that, the importance of foundation is undeniable for the betterment and well adjustment of the new entrants. Some of the important issues regarding foundation year before starting the formal higher education are described below:
Building a bridge between the lack of knowledge from high school and university education
In each and every country the differences in the pattern of education and teaching method are remarkable. The differences are significant mostly in the case of university and immediate previous levels. So expecting the ease or similarity of education is a myth in a foreign country. Foundation year helps to minimize the gap of education and maximize the opportunity of new entrants from different countries. It is a must to building a bridge of education and decrease the knowledge from high school and university.
Designed for international Students
Foundation year courses are very useful for overcoming initial stage problems and a crisis of the students. The courses are designed for international students to understand the education standards in a foreign country. Foundation year courses reduce the gap between the previous and new education system. To make the students prepared for a higher level of education and increase their level of base (Entwistle, 1982). Moreover, it is the most influential course of all in the new country to create the perfect situation for the new student to adjust to challenging situations.
Take preparation to use the international language
Though English is the international language and it is important for all the students to strengthen their basic knowledge in English most of them are not very aware of it. In most developed countries it is the foremost medium of communication and education. So if the students from different parts of the globe feel any inconvenience in using English it can be harder for them to survive (Entwistle, 1982). By undertaking the foundation courses, it becomes easier for the students to resolve problems of language and they become competent and capable to use English as their medium of reading, writing and speaking the language.
Expertise in the focused area
Foundation year courses are basically divided into two parts. They are common topics and specialized topics. Common topics include parts of Humanities, Business, and Science and specialized knowledge designed for the corresponding students from different corresponding fields (Liyanagunawardena and Moore, 2019). So with the help of the foundation area, it is possible to become an expert in the focus area concentration part.
Getting introduced with university-style teaching
In most developed countries school and college students can be enrolled themselves in the university courses after completing their high school education. The pattern of teaching and the environment of providing skills and learning are completely different than the university level teaching method (Liyanagunawardena and Moore, 2019). So after completing the foundation year courses, it is possible to become competent with the new setup of the university style education method and track down the requirements to do in the examination in the long run.
Raising confidence to irregular students
Irregular students of the universities need to take the foundation course for the ease of education at their convenient time. It helps to build up their confidence and make them free from study-related problems.
Adoption process with the surroundings
Foundation level courses all provide the new students time and convenient environment of learning to cope up with the new situation and learning system (Mishra and Mishra, 2018). It helps the students to become familiar with the environment and become friends with other students from the same courses.
A gateway to your cherished University
After completing the foundation year successfully it is easy for the students to find their desired university admission and build their career according to their plan.
Challenges faced by Foundation Year Students
The following challenges are faced by foundation year students are very hard to solve shortly. Here all the challenges of the students are described below:
Find out the synchronization of experience of home and abroad country
Every country is different in its culture, values, norms and living standard. People are different in case of adopting and making new habits in their daily life. But still, there are some similarities in people’s behavior. So all the students should try to cope up with them and find out the best way possible to balance the new experiences with their previous knowledge and skills (Mishra and Mishra, 2018).
Learn or adopt a foreign country language soon
Language is a great barrier for students to adjust to new countries. It can harm their professional and personal life as well. They found great difficulties to adapt or learn a new language in the country. So for England’s international students, it is important to learn it properly (Mortimore and Crozier, 2006). As an international language, the necessity of the language is undeniable.
Discomfort among full time and part-time entrants
According to recent student statistics of the United Kingdom, the majority of the full-time entrants are male and all of them are less than 25 years old. Here the majority of part-time students are female and their age is more than 25 years old. Because of the difference among the students, it is not very comforting to adjust and cope up with the situation and the entrants which is another biggest challenge of the foundation year students (Mortimore and Crozier, 2006). A significant difference between these two groups of people and categories is hard to minimize.
Preliminary financial crisis and challenges
Financial soundness is very important to survive in a foreign country. If a student has uncertainty about his financial condition it can affect his foundation years adversely. For solving this kind of problems students get scholarships and financial aids if they are from third world countries. If they failed to manage the aid they feel frustrated about the financial crises and become unable to concentrate on the studies (Støren and Arnesen, 2016). So they try to manage some odd jobs to cope up with the situation. In some countries, it is also difficult to manage a part-time job for language and ethnicity differences.
Facing difficulties in preparing writing materials in foreign languages
It is essential for an international student to know how to write and convince the international reader to satisfy their thirst and also need to find out what kind of material they want in writings. So at the very beginning of student life abroad, they face the challenge to learn about writing, listening and speaking English suitable for that country.
In this globalization era, it is impossible to tolerate racial and social discrimination. But unfortunately, most of the students have to face such kind of situations in foreign countries, which can causes mental depression and frustration initially (Støren and Arnesen, 2016). Especially in recent times devastation by White Supremes, Black Extremism, Muslim Extremism and other extremist section of people impose such discrimination problems in the society which are hard to survive.
The ways of Study Skills to contribute to overcoming the challenges faced by the foundation year students
The significance of the foundation year is undeniable. So the students should be very careful and focused on their activities and the actions they take in foundation years. Here the contributions of study skills are discussed to overcome the challenges faced by the foundation year students for their overall betterment.
From the above, here the primary obstacles in foundation years can be found. Due to a lack of knowledge and challenges from their external and internal environment foundation year students feel challenged and helpless. All of the problems are identified from the study skills program (Støren and Arnesen, 2016). Under the study skills program, the problems are considered seriously and they also try to solve the challenges of the students living in England. Most of the students arrive here from different countries to get the best opportunity and better facility by studying abroad. Under the program of Study skills, they primarily focus on their knowledge improvement and develop a better standard of habit. Through the development process, they ensure the core betterment of the students which are required to maintain in the foundation year students as long as they stay here in England. Then the program focuses on developing their writing skills of essays, paragraphs and some other writing capacity to survive in the long run (Wingate, 2006). The program also provides emphasizes on a different part of academic writing such as paraphrasing and academic reports preparing elements along with the writing improvement of literature review, citation and referencing. Finally, study skills give them the idea of improving themselves and their core skill and abilities in the future.
The world is very competitive and challenging now. So the patterns of the changes are hard to predict. With the continuous changes in time, it is important to take the foundation years very seriously to perform well in the long run. Because the difference is available everywhere and this cannot be ignored to do well. So to cope up with the changing trend in education, culture and learning pattern it is important for everyone to focus on learning and gain insights into the study programs and get yourself ready for any changes of future (Wingate, 2006).
- Bleznick, D. (1950). Conversational Techniques in First-Year Language Courses. Hispania, 33(4), p.355.
- Eckert, K. (1953). Useful in How-to-Study Courses: Improving Personality and Study Skills in College. The Journal of Higher Education, 24(4), pp.222-223.
- Entwistle, N. (1982). Study skills and independent learning. Studies in Higher Education, 7(1), pp.65-73.
- Liyanagunawardena, T. and Moore, N. (2019). Flexible approach to apprenticeship education. Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning.
- Mishra, S. and Mishra, P. (2018). Actuating Soft-Skills through E-Learning in Higher Education. Journal of Advances and Scholarly Researches in Allied Education, 15(3), pp.86-88.
- Mortimore, T. and Crozier, W. (2006). Dyslexia and difficulties with study skills in higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 31(2), pp.235-251.
- Støren, L. and Arnesen, C. (2016). Skills utilization at work, the quality of the study program and fields of study. Quality in Higher Education, 22(2), pp.127-138.
- Wingate, U. (2006). Doing away with ‘study skills’. Teaching in Higher Education, 11(4), pp.457-469.
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