A Levels or Foundation

I was a former Foundation in Law student. I know that there are several ways to qualify for university entrance but the two that most of the people I know took was either Foundation or A Levels. Each type has advantages and drawbacks. For some students A level is the best choice but, for others, University Foundation courses are better.

For A Levels, one of the advantage is; All UK universities accept A-level qualifications, so students can apply to any university they want. It is difficult to get into the best UK universities without A levels. Even so, one of the drawbacks of A Levels is the failure rate is higher than in Foundation Courses, though the difference is not great.

For Foundation, one of the advantage is; The failure rate is lower than A level, though students need to get high marks on Foundation courses if they want to go to a better university. Students who might fail A level can sometimes succeed with Foundation courses. In Foundation too, students generally specialise in the subject area they will study at university. One of the drawbacks of Foundation is, the qualification is not accepted by all universities. Foundation courses generally give entry to a limited range of universities. Each Foundation course provider is different. I took my Foundation in Law at UiTM and my Foundation only qualifies me to do degree only at UiTM. Another thing is, because Foundation courses are not nationally recognised, there is variation in the standard of courses, so a student needs to be very careful when choosing.

So which one is better? I would love to hear what you guys took.

I guess the answer to “which one is better” depends on:

  • You know which Bachelor’s degree course you want to study and the university, OR
  • You are not sure yet and want to keep your options open

For example, if you decided to study Bachelor’s of Business at the INTI International University, then go for a Foundation course/programme at INTI. As you have rightly pointed out, Foundation courses are easier than A level and one can finish a Foundation course within 1 year.

If you haven’t decided on the university, then you can choose to study A Level (i.e. GCE Advanced Level) with which you can apply to almost all universities in Malaysia, UK and other countries.