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Foundation Connect

Delivered by UP Education, Foundation Connect provides a comprehensive, English-rich curriculum to prepare students for the Certificate in Foundation Studies (Level 3). This six-month extension programme allows students to develop their English skills, confidence and apply these English skills in an academic setting. Foundation Connect includes engagement in Mathematics and optional academic courses to give students a broader foundation for future learning.

Foundation Connect is registered as Intensive General English Course with NZQA.
While the programme is aimed at providing learners with the skills to study effectively in an academic setting, it also provides a direct pathway to the University of Auckland Certificate in Foundation Studies with students guaranteed entry to Foundation provided they achieve the minimum criteria.

The main aim of Foundation Connect is to provide learners with the skills necessary to study effectively in an academic setting and a clear pathway to further study. Any student who wishes to enter the University of Auckland Certificate in Foundation Studies but does not yet meet the entry requirements based on English language skills would benefit from studying this extension program.

Course Structure

Through engaging lessons and study materials, students will develop their skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students will explore a wide range of stimulating and current topics; participate in discussions, conversations, and presentations; read a variety of adapted and authentic texts in English; and learn to write for different tasks, purposes, and audiences. Students will also expand their academic and thematic vocabulary, as well as learn instructional words commonly used in academic studies. A strong emphasis is made on teaching grammatical structures and encouraging students to develop skills and strategies for improving their shortcomings in this area of language learning.  

There are two compulsory subjects (English and English for Mathematics) and two academic subjects per term. These academic subjects will be used to prepare students for their future academic studies and contextualise their academic English usage. 

English – 10 hours per week

English for Mathematics – 3 hours per week and 1 Flexible Learning Activity (FLA)

Academic subjects – 3 live lessons and 1 FLA – students do all four academic subjects with two in the first term and two in the second term.

The academic subjects available are: Business; Science; Humanities (Geography) and Media

Each Term:

  • English – 10 live lessons per week
  • Maths – 3 live lessons and 1 FLA per week
  • 2 Academic subjects – 3 live lessons – 1 FLA
Example of a Foundation Connect Timetable
Foundation Connect (FC) Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Period 1 
Period 2 
Period 3 FC Geography FC Mathematics
Period 4 FC English FC English  FC English FC Media Studies
Period 5  FC Mathematics FC Geography  FC English
Period 6  FC Media Studies FC English FC English
Period 7 FC Mathematics FC Geography  FC English
Period 8  FC English FC Media Studies  FC English  FC English  


Foundation Connect will have a combination of internal assessments and exams with a minimum of 40% of the assessment weightings being exams.

Intake Dates

There are four intakes per year

  • February
  • April
  • July
  • October

All intakes will be available on campus. 

Please note that there is a one-term gap before the start of the Standard Foundation Programme if you joint Univeristy of Auckland International College Foundation Connect programme in April or October intake.

Tuition Fee

$16,750 NZD 

Other fee

Enrolment Fee: $450* 
Medical & Travel insurance: $810**

*Note that when you progress onto the University of Auckland Certificate in Foundation Studies students will not need to pay this again 

** International students must have comprehensive medical and travel insurance while in New Zealand. Enrolled international students will be charged Allianz’s Studentsafe Inbound Learners insurance premium when enrolment is completed. The final cost of insurance will depend on the length of requested insurance cover period.

Entry Requirements

To enrol in Foundation Connect, students will need to meet the minimum English language and academic entry requirements:

You must be at least 15 years old.

Entry Requirements

IELTS4.5 (no band less than 4.0) or an accepted equivalent including the UP English Language Test:  

It is important that students who join this programme can understand basic instructions and participate in class in English. Students entering this programme will be streamed into different class groups at the beginning of each term to ensure that students are in the most appropriate group for their language levels.

Academic Requirement

For all Academic Requirements please refer to the University of Auckland International College Entry Requirements insert.

Visas and Offers

Students who are starting with Foundation Connect will apply for their visa with Up International College. Upon successful completion of the Foundation Connect programme, students will receive a firm offer from the University of Auckland for the Standard-length Certificate in Foundation Studies course, for which visa will be issued under the University of Auckland.

Students also have the option of being offered a pathway visa covering all 3 courses:

  1. Foundation Connect
  2. The University of Auckland certificate in Foundation Studies
  3. University of Auckland degree

If you are currently not in New Zealand, you do not need a visa to start your course online. You can still receive valuable learning as planned without delay, even though New Zealand’s border is currently closed.

Pathway to Foundation

To accept your conditional offer for the University of Auckland Certificate in Foundation Studies, students must meet the minimum progression grades:

  • a minimum of 50% in English subjects.
  • a minimum of 45% in all academic subjects and an average of 55% across the same 3 academic subjects (Maths plus 2 others).

Some important notes:

In exceptional circumstances where a student exhibits outstanding work ethic and academic results, we may consider entrance into a fast-track programme. This decision is based on what is best academically for the student and will be at the discretion of the academic staff.

If a student needs to re-sit one or more subjects to meet the minimum progression grades this may be possible. As suitable extension study plan will be recommended on an individual basis by the academic team.

If a student fails a Foundation Connect course more than twice, they cannot be re-enrolled