Mr Jonathan Hughes-D’Aeth, Headmaster of Repton School with Professor April McMahon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberystwyth.
Mr Jonathan Hughes-D’Aeth, Headmaster of Repton School with Professor April McMahon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberystwyth.

International Foundation Course to provide direct entry to prestigious Welsh academic institution

Repton School in Dubai has formed a first of its kind partnership with Aberystwyth University to provide a course for school students in the UAE which will guarantee direct entry into the prestigious Welsh educational institute.

Launched this week in Dubai, the one year International Foundation Certificate (IFC) will be available to students from Repton for the first year and then open to all students in the GCC thereafter, with boarding facilities at Repton available for pupils outside of Dubai.

The course will be delivered through a validated, approved collaborative framework where students complete academic subjects within the International Baccalaureate Diploma as well as courses involving Theory of Knowledge, Community Action and Service, and a research project.

Students will also be required to successfully pass an ‘English for Academic Purposes’ test, delivered in conjunction with the University.

Each student will be registered with the University at the start of the course, based at Repton School in Dubai, and will receive guidance from the academic staff in relation to degree pathways and appropriate higher educational courses.

Speaking at the launch event to mark the partnership, Jonathan Hughes-D’Aeth, Headmaster at Repton School, said: “This course provides a truly unique opportunity for our students to complete a university-validated International Foundation Course, while at the same time continuing school level studies.

“There are no other universities of this calibre empowering and helping to equip young people in the UAE for direct entry to degree courses at a very highly rated academic institution.

“The value of the course is that it will specifically suit young people who wish to achieve academic English skills required by British universities, while still studying at school.”

The official launch event, held at Repton School in Dubai, was attended by the Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, Professor April McMahon and Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Grattan, Pro Vice-Chancellor, and Ruth Owen Lewis, Director of the International Office along with Murtza Ali Ghaznavi, Middle East Manager. Staff from the University were also joined by a number of Dubai based Aberystwyth alumni.

Professor April McMahon said: “Aberystwyth University has a proud history dating back to 1872 when it was established by the people of Wales as the first Welsh University. E respect that history but we are also looking to the future and to important international and entrepreneurial activities. This new partnership with Repton School will help prepare our next generation of students in adapting to higher educational learning, which can be quite different to the school environment.

“I look forward to seeing the development of the IFC programme here in Dubai and in welcoming a new intake of students to our community in the coming years.”

The lunch of the International Foundation Course builds on earlier visits to Repton School by Professor Tim Woods, Director of Education, Graduate and Professional Development at the University.

Plans are now in place for a series of regular visits by Aberystwyth teaching staff to visit Repton School throughout the academic year in order to moderate the course and the core programme as well as advise and guide learners in Dubai.

The course is being delivered to enable young people in the UAE to be fully prepared, both academically and linguistically, to flourish during a degree course without the need for an additional year’s study at home or abroad.

Each student embarking on the course will visit Aberystwyth for at least one week during the early stages, with Repton students being introduced to their prospective academic departments, attend relevant lectures and be twinned with a student ‘buddy’ for their visit in order to help them understand life on campus and at the University.

– Investment Education Mena