If you or someone you know didn't do so well at the A/Ls and you want to go to university, you might be interested to know that there are other options available.
Thimantha Ulluwishewa is a Sri Lankan student currently studying at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). Born in Colombo, Thimantha completed his high school A/Ls in 2006 and because he has relatives living in Australia, decided to undertake further study in Sydney.
"I have relatives living in UK and Canada as well but the visa process was easier for Australia." Having just missed out on the A/L grade needed for direct entry to UTS, he applied to the INSEARCH Diploma of Science and Engineering, which he began in 2007.
"INSEARCH is a good place to start," says Thimantha. "By doing an INSEARCH diploma I got a one year exemption which means I went straight into the second year of study at UTS."
As an international student the convenience of the city location and easy access to UTS's facilities mean that Thimantha was a part of uni life while still studying at INSEARCH. "INSEARCH's small size means it's easy to get to know people- most of my friends now are the ones I met while studying there.
The small class sizes also means that staff is accessible.
You can get to know lecturers and tutors personally which really helps when you're starting out in a new country."
Thimantha joined the second year of study at UTS in the spring semester of 2008, choosing to study a Bachelor of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering- a mix of different branches of mechanical, electrical and computer systems. He's currently in his third year of study and plans to join the workforce in Australia before eventually returning to Sri Lanka.
INSEARCH is a controlled entity of, and a pathway provider to the University of Technology, Sydney. It is a registered non-self accrediting Australian higher education institution and has been educating students for over 20 years, offering a range of English and diploma courses and now on behalf of UTS, UTS Foundation Studies.
For more information about INSEARCH's courses and where they lead to, visit www.insearch.edu.au / firstname.lastname@example.org
Rae de Rooy
INSEARCH CRICOS provider code: 00859D / UTS CRICOS provider code: 00099F
Source: David Samuel, Business Development Manager Australian Trade Commission, Austrade-Colombo.