Nottingham Trent University has set up one of the UK's first campus "prep schools" for overseas students in partnership with a US company.
The International College, based at the university, will coach overseas students wishing to take undergraduate and postgraduate courses at Nottingham Trent to bring them up to the same standard as their UK counterparts. A university place is guaranteed for those who do well enough in the preparation courses.
The core business of the university's partner, Kaplan, is the preparation of American pupils for the scholastic aptitude test US universities use to select students.
Peter Jones, university pro vice-chancellor for research and business development, said: "The International College is designed to cater for students whose education system in their home country may not prepare them for direct entry to university here."
Students will get support with the English language, as well as social and cultural support to help them integrate into the university and local community.
The college will be open for the 2005-06 academic year. Fees are expected to be broadly in line with what Nottingham Trent charges overseas students for degrees, namely £7,600 a year for classroom-based subjects and Pounds 8,500 for laboratory-based ones.
Students aiming for undergraduate entry would be expected to do a foundation year, bringing them up to A-level standard, and a diploma programme, to prepare them for entry to the second year of a degree.
Overseas students choosing this route could end up paying an extra year's fees, two preparation years and two undergraduate.
Professor Jones did not disclose how fees would be split between the university and Kaplan. All student work would be examined internally and moderated externally to UK standards, he said.
Charles Hall, head of Kaplan International Colleges UK, said the company was "thrilled" by the partnership, adding that it intended to build similar partnerships with other UK universities.