The Tempinis diaries

June 18, 2008

Why Foundation Programmes are Usually a Bad Decision

Filed under: education, malaysia — Tags: , , — toru @ 2:58 pm

A commentator of this post, Chiyee, asked me for my views about giving up his or her A-levels course to take up a foundation programme instead.  My view is that taking any kind of foundation programme is usually a bad idea.  Why do I say this?  First, foundation programmes are not recognised by most leading universities.  That means if you take a particular foundation programme, you are locked into that particular college and degree programme.  You can also kiss the chances of getting into top US, UK, Singapore universities goodbye since they do not recognise these programmes.  Also, most universities that offer foundation programmes are not exactly very good universities.  You can read Tony and Kian Ming’s post here.   Second, foundation programmes do not offer flexibility.  For example, if you take a foundation programme in business, it is highly unlikely that you can switch to engineering, medicine, law, science etc in university.  In contrast, if you take a combination of biology, maths and chemistry in A-levels or STPM, you can take any of these courses in university.

So the upshot is:  never ever take a foundation programme unless you are absolutely, 100 % positive that you want to take a particular course at a particular university.  But then again at 16 years old – how can you ever be sure of something like this?  It would be far wiser to take A-levels or STPM.


The postcript to this post is this: it doesn’t mean you will do badly if you take a foundation programme.  I am sure there are many people who have done these programmes, gone on to do well in university and have forged successful careers.  I just think that it is not as flexible as STPM or A-levels.


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