The whole point of international student mobility is for students to get to where they want to study and be able to study what they want. They want to be “college-ready”. Universities and colleges want well-qualified students that can be successful in their studies.

It’s not rocket science.

The issue for the higher education sector to resolve is the high drop-out rate from first year undergraduate degree studies; for instance, across all institutions in the US in 2019 it was 24.1% based on National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

The Global Freshman Certificate (GFC) provides students with the chance to undertake the first year of an undergraduate degree and fully demonstrates their capability to transfer to an English-medium university to continue their studies in second year.

In the NCES report, the number of credits a student completed in their first year had a significant correlation with the time obtaining a degree. For students who completed 30 or more credits in their first year, 72.3% earned their Bachelor’s degree in four years or less, 23.4% earned it in five years, and 4.5% earned it in six or more years.

The GFC @ IU provides students with just that opportunity.

By undertaking the first year of an undergraduate on-line in their home country the factors that largely impinge on drop-out rates such as personal or familial issues, financial difficulties, or stress and anxiety are more readily overcome and do not undermine the retention rate for the institution.

Once students have completed the GFC they have determined where they want to study and what they want to study and are “college-ready”.

ISP-EduWorld, a strategic content marketing company providing innovative solutions for international student mobility, has partnered with the International University of Applied Sciences (IU) based in Germany to offer the Global Freshman Certificate – the first year of an undergraduate program with two specialised streams, Business and Computing. All modules are delivered in English.

The GFC consists of twelve modules of study – the same as first-year in Germany. All students undertake six modules in Sprint 1 before specialising in Business or Computing.

Delivery is done using the block-teaching model. Students take two modules over eight weeks, and then progress to the next set of two modules. It takes 48 weeks to complete the program. Each module involves one hundred and fifty hours of study, and each module attracts 5 ECTS credit points under the European Credit Transfer System.

The structure for the GFC @ IU is set out below:

Academic Integrity & Writing for Business5150
Collaborative Work5150
Introduction to Computer Science5150
Organisational Behaviour5150
Intercultural & Ethical Decision-Making5150
Sprint 1: All Streams

Business 1015150
Principles of Management5150
Managerial Economics5150
Global Corporations & Globalization5150
Business Mathematics5150
Entrepreneurship and Innovation5150
Sprint 2: Business Stream

Introduction to Data Science5150
Mathematics I5150
Computer Architecture & Operating Systems5150
Object-Orientated Programming with Java5150
Web Application Development5150
Database Structures & Java Class Library5150
Sprint 2: Computing Stream

The number of credits points under the European Credits Transfer System (ECTS) for successful completion of an undergraduate degree at the International University of Applied Sciences (IU) is 180 points.

The number of ECTS credit points for successful completion of the Global Freshman Certificate (GFC) is 60 points.

CountryNo of Subjects/Units/ModulesCredit pointsECTS
Australia8 (e.g. ANU)(7.5 ECTS = 1 subject)60
ECTS Credit Points Equivalency Table for the GFC

Rodney Gillett
Academic Director, ISP Eduworld Pty Ltd