You Don’t Need To Revise To Get Into Uni If You’re An International Student — Here’s Why

Bad luck if you have to do group work.

If you’ve ever complained about having to pay £9k a year to attend uni when your lectures consist of reading from slides and having to pay for printing credits, you might be shocked to hear how much international students have to pay.

£9k a year is nothing to the many international students who come to the UK to study and who often have to pay up to £22,200 A YEAR to attend uni.

In even more shocking news, it’s now been revealed that many unis are accepting more and more international students with lower grades to get money from their tuition fees. This means that while UK students often have to meet strict offers to secure a place, international students might be able to get onto certain courses with much lower grades, just because they’ll be paying more to attend.

Why are universities doing this?

Alright, let’s get into it—you won’t necessarily be on the same course as an international student who has lower grades than you. That’s because many UK universities have been offering foundation schemes specifically to allow those who haven’t got the grades to study in the UK for a year, before starting their first year of university.

The Times uncovered that recruiters acting on behalf of Russel Group universities were offering university places to students in the Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia on these foundation courses, who had achieved the equivalent of D or E grades at A-Level. In many cases, UK students would need to achieve A*- A grades to get a place on the corresponding undergraduate course.

This means that international students who have achieved D grades could be accepted to these foundation courses to study in the UK for a year and then move on to the undergraduate course for the next three to four years, regardless of their previous results.

These foundation years are much easier than a regular year of uni and have been specifically designed for international students only, so UK students cannot get a place on one if they also fail to achieve the required grades. While students on the foundation course will need to pass exams to move on to the undergraduate course, it’s been reported that the course is easier than A-Levels with a high pass rate.

Do you think it’s fair that unis are recruiting international students with lower grades?

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So, if you were doing your first year with someone who had previously done a foundation year and hadn’t met the same grades as you, doing group work with them could show some serious knowledge gaps. Not to mention that if you narrowly missed out on your first choice of uni due to missing one grade, someone else could have been accepted with much lower grades than you.

Is this fair? Not really, but international students bring in a LOT of money (not that your uni needs it…with some university vice-chancellors earning up to £700k a year) so it’s clear to see the benefit. Of course, everyone should be allowed to study the course they want in the country they wish to study in, but if someone hasn’t actually achieved the right grades, surely they should have to try a different uni or course instead of getting a pass because it benefits the uni financially.

Which UK unis are recruiting international students for their money?

The following Russell Group Universities have been exposed for recruiting international students with lower grades for foundation courses.

  • Birmingham
  • Bristol
  • Cardiff
  • Durham
  • Exeter
  • Leeds
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester
  • Newcastle
  • Nottingham
  • Queen Mary University London
  • Queen’s University Belfast
  • Sheffield
  • Southampton
  • Warwick

What grades do UK students need vs international students?

This data collected by The Times shows the grades UK students would need for an Economics degree at the following Russell Group Universities, vs the grades international students would need to secure a place on a foundation course and then move on to the undergraduate Economics course.

UniversityGrades needed by UK studentsGrades needed by International students for a foundation course
Queen Mary University LondonAAACCC AS Levels
Queen’s University BelfastABBE
WarwickA*A*A*BBB AS Levels

This information is sure to cause a discussion with many people online already agreeing that this is unfair while others don’t see a problem with it. We’d like to know what you think, so follow us on Instagram and drop a comment with your thoughts.