UEA offers A-level tuition to science high-flyers

November 26, 2009

The University of East Anglia is marketing itself as an alternative to boarding school for high-flying A-level students hoping to study at the university of Oxford or Cambridge.

In a potentially lucrative move, UEA has started to offer entirely campus-based full-time science A-level programmes - the first in the sector to do so.

The Newton Programme, which charges fees in excess of £12,000 for three terms, is being run with INTO University Partnerships, a private provider of pre-degree education that already offers "pathway" courses for international students on the UEA campus.

The programme offers tuition in Cambridge International Examinations for A-level students planning further study in medicine, engineering, physical sciences, mathematics and economics.

Students will have access to undergraduate lectures and university laboratories, will meet academics and will take part in some campus activities.

They will also be given personal coaching on how to apply to university, including "dedicated preparation for Oxbridge".

Edward Acton, UEA's vice-chancellor, said that while the programme initially was conceived to "accustom international students to the English education system", there was no bar to home students applying.

He added: "We would welcome applications from British students. Parents whose work takes them abroad may well consider that this is an attractive alternative to boarding school."

The programme includes a three-term fast-track course for students with high AS-level grades or their equivalent.

Professor Acton said he hoped the courses would help UEA attract the brightest science students.

"Studying on a university campus will help gifted students to focus even more intensely on their goal: it will help bridge the gap that can exist between school and university and give them a flying start when they reach degree level," he said.

Only the well-heeled need apply: fees stand at £12,750 for three terms, a figure that does not include accommodation costs of £6,771 for the period.

However, scholarships of up to £8,000 are available.

melanie.newman@tsleducation.com.

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