Academic Asia International Ltd
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
QUESTIONS FROM PARENTS
QUESTIONS FROM SCHOOLS
Do British schools want Chinese students?
Definitely. Chinese students have an excellent reputation in Britain for being clever, hard-working and for achieving good examination results. All British schools are happy to welcome students from China.
Which school is the best?
This depends very much on your son or daughter. Some students do best in a school which is highly academic but others do not. Our job is to assess your child carefully and to recommend schools where he or she will be happy and will achieve their full potential.
I assume that the top-ranking schools are the most expensive?
No - not at all. There is no relationship between a school's ranking and the fees.
I understand that government schools are free in UK. Can my child go to a free school?
Education is only free for British students attending government day schools. Overseas students cannot attend government schools unless their family lives in UK and lives near that school. All students - British and overseas - pay to attend boarding schools and all students, British or overseas, pay the same fees.
How much will it cost?
The fees at British boarding schools vary quite a lot - from around £24,000 per year up to £40,000. Average fees are probably around £27,000 per year. In addition there is the cost of travel, school uniform, guardianship etc.
What is guardianship?
All overseas students at school in UK must have a guardian - that is, a person who represents the parents in UK and who looks after the student's UK travel, half-term accommodation, spending-money etc and who will represent the parents in case of any problems or difficulties. If a student has adult relatives living in UK then they can act as the guardian and there are also some professional agencies who will perform this duty.
Are doctors and hospitals expensive?
All medical care is free for all students in full-time education in UK. This includes overseas students who also pay nothing.
What do Chinese parents look for in a school?
Inevitably, Chinese parents take note of the league-tables and school rankings - although our staff in China take a great deal of time and trouble to explain to parents the other factors that matter when choosing a school.
Parents are often not prepared for the long delays than can occur (at some schools) before a decision is made about their application - the parents think that the fact that they are paying a registration fee and that they will pay a large amount of money in fees mean that the decision-making process will be quick.
Parents are often shocked to have to pay a substantial registration fee just to make an application and are even more shocked when schools do not know their exact fees for the coming year.
What is the level of English of Chinese students?
The standard of English teaching in Chinese schools is very high - commendably so in many schools - but most Chinese students (except those attending English-medium schools) need a pre-sessional English "top up" before starting their main course. Generally we find that this needs to be for between eight and sixteen weeks if they attend a specialised course in Britain. Chinese students learn quickly and work very hard and we rarely find that English poses any problems once they have completed their pre-sessional English course.
We hear that visas can be a big problem for Chinese students? Is this correct?
The UKBA visa procedures are rigorous and time-consuming but we have specialist staff in China to advise parents and to help them through the visa application process. If a student has a confirmed place and a CAS then we will ensure that they obtain a visa. Academic Asia students always obtain their visas.
At the moment our school does not get many Chinese students but we would certainly like more. How can we do this?
Please contact us for a preliminary discussion at any time. We would be happy to offer help and advice with no obligation.
Are visits to China to promote our school useful?