Unis won't accept my qualifications, require me to do Scottish/English highers Watch

Xanimede
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Hello, I'm a 19 year old Syrian currently living in Scotland. I am in the process of applying for asylum, and for the sake of this post, let us assume I'm already granted refugee status.

Before I left Syria, I finished school and got a baccalaureate with grade of 94% total (allowing me entry to any Syrian uni I want except for medicine). I contacted several Scottish unis and they won't accept it. Only University of Edinburgh is willing to consider it, although I doubt it'll get me in.

They require me to do either A levels or Highers. Since I'm living in Scotland, I decided to do highers.

My problem is that, I don't know how, I don't know what highers to choose, there are so many standards, different qualifications, I'm afraid I just don't know what to pick.

I want to do four highers, as I believe that's enough for unis. I have no preference of online distance learning, or actually going to a college.

Can anyone tell me where I can do that? Glasgow is the closest city to me, and when I google "Glasgow highers", the first result is this:

https://www.glasgowclyde.ac.uk/cours...tional-5s/1365

It seems the course is full now, but even then, is this even the right course? And if it is, it seems that they require National 5 or Intermediate 2, which I don't have, and I wouldn't be surprised if these 2 qualifications also require sub-qualifications, sending me in an endless loop to the bottom of the education qualifications ladder.

I will contact the Scottish Refugee Council, but I don't know how much help they will be.

If anyone has any idea how I can do 4 Scottish highers, please let me know.
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Doones
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(Original post by Xanimede)
Hello, I'm a 19 year old Syrian currently living in Scotland. I am in the process of applying for asylum, and for the sake of this post, let us assume I'm already granted refugee status.

Before I left Syria, I finished school and got a baccalaureate with grade of 94% total (allowing me entry to any Syrian uni I want except for medicine). I contacted several Scottish unis and they won't accept it. Only University of Edinburgh is willing to consider it, although I doubt it'll get me in.

They require me to do either A levels or Highers. Since I'm living in Scotland, I decided to do highers.

My problem is that, I don't know how, I don't know what highers to choose, there are so many standards, different qualifications, I'm afraid I just don't know what to pick.

I want to do four highers, as I believe that's enough for unis. I have no preference of online distance learning, or actually going to a college.

Can anyone tell me where I can do that? Glasgow is the closest city to me, and when I google "Glasgow highers", the first result is this:

https://www.glasgowclyde.ac.uk/cours...tional-5s/1365

It seems the course is full now, but even then, is this even the right course? And if it is, it seems that they require National 5 or Intermediate 2, which I don't have, and I wouldn't be surprised if these 2 qualifications also require sub-qualifications, sending me in an endless loop to the bottom of the education qualifications ladder.

I will contact the Scottish Refugee Council, but I don't know how much help they will be.

If anyone has any idea how I can do 4 Scottish highers, please let me know.
Maybe look at doing an Access to Higher Education diploma.

https://www.gla.ac.uk/study/short/accessprogramme/

Edit: correction, the AccessHE isn't available in Scotland afaik, but that programme by Glasgow University may be relevant anyway.

This is info about AccessHE
https://www.accesstohe.ac.uk/Pages/Default.aspx


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Labrador99
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(Original post by Xanimede)
Hello, I'm a 19 year old Syrian currently living in Scotland. I am in the process of applying for asylum, and for the sake of this post, let us assume I'm already granted refugee status.

Before I left Syria, I finished school and got a baccalaureate with grade of 94% total (allowing me entry to any Syrian uni I want except for medicine). I contacted several Scottish unis and they won't accept it. Only University of Edinburgh is willing to consider it, although I doubt it'll get me in.

They require me to do either A levels or Highers. Since I'm living in Scotland, I decided to do highers.

My problem is that, I don't know how, I don't know what highers to choose, there are so many standards, different qualifications, I'm afraid I just don't know what to pick.

I want to do four highers, as I believe that's enough for unis. I have no preference of online distance learning, or actually going to a college.

Can anyone tell me where I can do that? Glasgow is the closest city to me, and when I google "Glasgow highers", the first result is this:

https://www.glasgowclyde.ac.uk/cours...tional-5s/1365

It seems the course is full now, but even then, is this even the right course? And if it is, it seems that they require National 5 or Intermediate 2, which I don't have, and I wouldn't be surprised if these 2 qualifications also require sub-qualifications, sending me in an endless loop to the bottom of the education qualifications ladder.

I will contact the Scottish Refugee Council, but I don't know how much help they will be.

If anyone has any idea how I can do 4 Scottish highers, please let me know.
I will try and help you out...

Which universities other than Edinburgh have you contacted? Since this academic year has begun, you would be looking at courses starting after next summer, so you do have time to get in contact with more and seeing what they say. I would make sure you've asked as many as you can before going down the college route, if you'd rather ideally go straight to university.

The course you linked allows you to do 3 highers or national 5s (or a mix) in a year. National 5 is the level below highers. If you're going down this route, I would email or phone up the college and ask them whether they would accept your current qualifications as sufficient for entry to do 3 highers.
As for a fourth higher, some colleges offer individual highers as evening or weekend courses, so you could perhaps try to do one of them in addition to the 3 at Glasgow Clyde.
4 highers is enough for many courses at several universities, but not necessarily all courses at all universities, so do check all the ones you're looking at.

In addition, you could also try and get onto a 1 year access course (an access course at SCQF level 6 is roughly equivalent to highers) at college. From there, you could try and get a HNC at college (again, 1 year), which universities do accept (and can potentially get you entry straight into second year at university, depending on the course and university).

Your local Skills Development Scotland centre (or you can contact them by phone) might be able to help you more with this, as they have careers advisors who know about lots of different routes to get where you want.

Hope this helps
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Xanimede
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Thanks. I will consider the access course. For now, I found it more suitable to do 3 A levels online, and sit the tests in England, seems easier than highers. I have contacted colleges and they seem OK with me enrolling in the courses, now I just need to contact test centers.

I did go to Skills Development Scotland for help, but they were not helpful at all and didn't seem knowledgeable on the matter.
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Doones
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(Original post by Xanimede)
Thanks. I will consider the access course. For now, I found it more suitable to do 3 A levels online, and sit the tests in England, seems easier than highers. I have contacted colleges and they seem OK with me enrolling in the courses, now I just need to contact test centers.

I did go to Skills Development Scotland for help, but they were not helpful at all and didn't seem knowledgeable on the matter.
Sitting A-levels as a private candidate can be expensive, especially if it includes the practical elements.
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Xanimede
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
Sitting A-levels as a private candidate can be expensive, especially if it includes the practical elements.
More expensive than colleges? I don't really know the prices, but I was told it's vastly different from center to center, could go between 20 to 200 per subject.

Overall, I'm expecting to pay around 2 thousand pounds for sitting 3 tests and for access to 3 subject course materials. I'm sure there's funding available of some sort.
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Weelouise
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Which subjects are you looking to sit? What university course are you looking into? A-levels in Scotland sat privately are much more expensive than sitting Highers privately, as there are costly practicals involved.

You can get the materials (textbooks) for each subject cheaply off eBay and the past papers to practice free from the SQA website. I'm sitting one of my highers privately as an external candidate and for English, it's costing me £200. I am doing my other highers by Open Learning with a college not local to me at all, those are £308 each.

If you want to go to college, a lot look for prerequisites which is the main reason I am doing my subjects from home as I don't have them and with the term already begun, you'd be looking at starting in August/September 2019. However, if you're sitting them privately, you just need to guage whether you think you will be ready to sit the exams in April/May 2019 and you can start right away.

Hope that's helped somewhat.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Xanimede)
Hello, I'm a 19 year old Syrian currently living in Scotland. I am in the process of applying for asylum, and for the sake of this post, let us assume I'm already granted refugee status.
Have you sought advice from these people: https://www.naric.org.uk/naric/
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Xanimede
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I genuinely doubt NARIC is accepted by any university, it's more geared towards employment.

I have decided to do A levels (chem, physics, maths), and skip the practicals. Each A level costs 80GBP, so that's 240 GBP total, which is acceptable. I'll sit the tests in Wallace College in Edinburgh.

I've contacted several unis so far, and I know that the following don't require practical endorsements or GCSEs

St Andrews
Robert Gordon
Stirling
Heriot Watt
Strathclyde ("willing to consider")


So far seems like a solid plan.
Last edited by Xanimede; 10 months ago
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Weelouise
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(Original post by Xanimede)
I genuinely doubt NARIC is accepted by any university, it's more geared towards employment.

I have decided to do A levels (chem, physics, maths), and skip the practicals. Each A level costs 80GBP, so that's 240 GBP total, which is acceptable. I'll sit the tests in Wallace College in Edinburgh.

I've contacted several unis so far, and I know that the following don't require practical endorsements or GCSEs

St Andrews
Robert Gordon
Stirling
Heriot Watt
Strathclyde ("willing to consider")


So far seems like a solid plan.
This is where i'm sitting my highers. Are you sure you don't need to sit the practicals in order to receive the full A level award?
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MontyJam13
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Like was already suggested you can do highers at college rather than university and some are available to do online which allows even more flexibility.
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Xanimede
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(Original post by Weelouise)
This is where i'm sitting my highers. Are you sure you don't need to sit the practicals in order to receive the full A level award?
Yes, Edexcel allows you to get the award without the prac endoresment.
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Johnathan94
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You might want to consider doing a further education course or a widening access programme at a local college.
They can sometimes be pretty flexible with application deadlines so maybe you could find a place beginning very soon.

When it comes to choosing Highers, this is pretty hard to give any advice on without knowing what it is you'd like to study at university.

I'm based in Scotland and work as a private tutor here (as well as being an MSc student), so I know the Scottish FE/HE system relatively well, send me a message if you'd like to chat a little further.

Good luck!
Last edited by Johnathan94; 10 months ago
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Doones
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(Original post by Xanimede)
Yes, Edexcel allows you to get the award without the prac endoresment.
But do your specific universities accept A-levels without the practical endorsement?
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Johnathan94
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(Original post by Xanimede)
I genuinely doubt NARIC is accepted by any university, it's more geared towards employment.

I have decided to do A levels (chem, physics, maths), and skip the practicals. Each A level costs 80GBP, so that's 240 GBP total, which is acceptable. I'll sit the tests in Wallace College in Edinburgh.

I've contacted several unis so far, and I know that the following don't require practical endorsements or GCSEs

St Andrews
Robert Gordon
Stirling
Heriot Watt
Strathclyde ("willing to consider")


So far seems like a solid plan.
Just as a quiet endorsement, Heriot-Watt is a very good institution - I did a portion of my undergraduate there and it really was a beautiful campus with great staff.
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Xanimede
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
But do your specific universities accept A-levels without the practical endorsement?
Yes.

I've contacted several unis so far, and I know that the following don't require practical endorsements or GCSEs

St Andrews
Robert Gordon
Stirling
Heriot Watt
Strathclyde ("willing to consider")
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