Foundation programs that will help you study in great Chinese Universities

Foundation programs are a great way of saving your time, prepare you for the program you want to study afterwards and give you access to study a Bachelor’s program at any Chinese university, sometimes even to international universities. We will tell you everything you need to know on why you should study a foundation program and how you can do it.

Duke Kunshan Academic BuildingJiangsu University IFP Center

Why you should study a foundation program

There many good reasons on why you should study a foundation program here in China. The main reasons are:

  1. You have not completed/finished high school or GCE Advanced level (if so you can save a lot of time!!)
  2. You have completed High school but your grades are not really that good
  3. You don’t have an English language certificate (IELTS or TOEFL)
    • Minimum overall score for IELTS usually not lower than 6,0, for TOEFL not lower than 78

In order to start a (english taught) Bachelor’s program at a Chinese university you need to have finished high school and provide an english language certificate (either IELTS or TOEFL). If you have this, you are eligible to apply to all universities in China. Of course the university can still reject you if you don’t meet the academic standards, so ideally you would also have good grades as well.


For students following the Cambridge model: Only if you have completed the GCE Advanced level, you are eligible to apply to the universities in China. If you only have GCE ordinary level, IGCSE or GCSE we advise you to enroll into a foundation program as well.

1 – You have not completed/finished high school or GCE advanced level

In this case you can actually save a lot of time! Instead of going through 2 or 3 years of high school in your home country and enroll in a foundation program which usually takes between 1 or 2 semesters only.

2 – You have completed high school but your grades are not really that good

If you have low grades you might have trouble meeting the academic standards of many universities. This is especially true if you want to apply for programs such as engineering or medicine. Of course the universities take your work experience or volunteer projects into account and if you come from a developed country with a well advanced education system your grades might not even matter that much. But still grades are one important factor to evaluate your academic eligibility. In this case a foundation program is a perfect opportunity. Here you have a second chance and if you perform well you can get access to good universities and programs in China.

3 – You don’t have an English language certificate

In order to study an english taught program degree program you need to either come from a country that has English as a first official language, your high school education was exclusively taught in English or you need to provide an English language certificate (either IELTS or TOEFL). If you don’t meet any of these standard but want to start your studies in China as soon as possible, a foundation program is an ideal choice. Once you completed the foundation program you can apply to any Chinese universities (even without an english language certificate).

Requirements to apply for foundation programs

In order to apply you just need to fulfill these standards:

  • Successfully completed 10 years of school education
    • Depending on which country you are either a middle school graduate or junior high school graduate
    • If your school follows the Cambridge model: you have either GCE (O-level), IGCSE or GCSE
    • Subjects should include mathematics and English
  • You Must be 16 years and above
  • You must be non-Chinese citizen

Which foundation programs you should apply for

Foundation programs prepare you for the study program that you are aiming to study afterwards. Therefore different foundation programs make sense depending on what Bachelor’s program you would like to enroll to afterwards. Here some great choices that we recommend for you.

Beijing Foreign Studies University
– Good for business and language –

bfsu business scholarship

Beijing Foreign Studies University is a good university, located in the Haidian District of Beijing. The university is known for being one of the top university for business studies in China. The foundation program will enable you to apply for an undergraduate major at any university once you successfully complete it. Please check more information here

Tuition fee: 15000 RMB per year

Duration: 1 year

Why apply at BFSU

  • Very good if you would like to study in business
  • It is among the top universities in China for business programs
  • Very cool location near the city center, many foreign restaurants, bars and grill restaurants.
Jiangsu University
– General foundation program –


Among the good universities that have a wide variety of courses, Jiangsu University is among them, The foundation course at Jiangsu will enable you to pursue your further career at the university, They have many undergraduates course that you would surely be interested to apply after finishing the course. Please check more information here

Tuition fee:  7800 RMB per semester

Duration: 1 semester

Why apply at Jiangsu University

  • Good for a broad range of subjects including engineering, medicine, business/economics
  • Lower tuition fee for foundation program compared to other universities.
  • Many undergraduate courses that enable you to have variety of choice to persuade your career
  • Short study duration
Shenyang Aerospace University
– Good for Engineering –

Many students who have graduated from ordinary level or IGCSE are very interested to apply for the program at Shenyang Aerospace University. The international foundation program enables you to apply for an undergraduate course in China or outside China, this foundation program is a one year foundation program and you will receive a certificate after graduating the course.Please check more information about the course here

Tuition fee: 14000 RMB per year.

Duration: 1 year

Why apply at Shenyang Aerospace University

  • It is an international foundation program, you can apply for an undergraduate course anywhere in the world.
  • Relatively low tuition fee
  • Suitable if you have the interest to study in another country apart from China

How to Apply

Applying through us is quite easy, all it takes is two simple steps!
1) Start your application – You can do this by clicking the “Apply Now” button on the program’s webpage. Please read this article here, it explains what documents are needed for your application.
2) Submit your application – Once you are done with your application, please click the “submit application” button in the confirmation section of your online application. We will review your documents for free and guide you through the next steps.

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