Private colleges in the UK
In general, private colleges accept 16-year-old students who have passed the “GCSE” exams to the “Sixth form” level, the final studying phase before entering the university, which usually includes “A-level” or “International Baccalaureate (IB)” two-year preparation programs. Virtually every high school offers a «A-level» program, more rarely «IB», and most of the students remain for these programs at their schools, but for various reasons some students leave their schools and transfer to private colleges.
These colleges tend to have more flexible student admission policies compared to the «Sixth Form» in traditional high schools. In recent years, some colleges have begun offering the “GCSE (14-16)” course and the “Preparing for University” (Foundation) course, which are intended mainly for foreign students.
Most private colleges are located in London, Cambridge, Oxford and other major UK cities. Their campuses are traditionally situated in the center of the city, and other objects of their infrastructure, such as residences and sports complexes, are often scattered through different districts of the city. This is one of the differences from the ordinary high school, which related premises usually located in the same area.
Private colleges focus on academic preparation of students, and aimed to get students ready to receive the highest marks in the final exams. Private colleges offer several forms of study: day schools, which are attractive to local British students who live nearby, and boarding school, mainly for foreign students. Students usually live at a distance from the college; in particular, the form of living in host families is very common.
For many students who didn’t have the chance to study in British high schools and who come here to study for the first time at the age of 15-16 years, most often with imperfect English, entering one of these colleges can be a significant first step, making it once possible to enter one of top universities in the country.
Our advisers are intended to provide future students with professional support throughout the entire process of admission to private colleges in London, Oxford and Cambridge. They will lead you through the stages of submitting documents, preparing for entrance exams and interviews. We will be able to arrange visits to chosen colleges, and, if necessary, a member of our team will accompany you and help you during these trips. When that special moment of receiving offers from several colleges comes, we will recommend the best option.
We have created our own 6th Form Private College guide that aims to help families to get more familiar with this topic. Please download it here.