Program Description:

All students of VGU’s Bachelor programs “Finance and Accounting” (FA), “Business Administration” (BA) “Electrical Engineering and Information Technology” (EEIT), “Computer Science” (CS) and “Mechanical Engineering” (ME) will study the VGU Foundation Year first. After the successful completion of the Foundation Year they will continue to study their Bachelor program.


In order to offer a diverse and flexible program for all students, the Foundation Year is divided into four eight-week long periods which are called “phases”.

  • Semester 1 => Phase 1 and Phase 2
  • Semester 2 => Phase 3 and Phase 4

At the end of each phase a one week examination week is held which is used to make up classes and to organize examinations for most modules.

In each phase students study a customized program of usually 28-32 periods per week and earn up to 16 Foundation Year Credit Points (FY-CP). FY-CPs are calculated in the following way:

  • 12-period modules => 6 FY-CP
  • 04-period modules => 2 FY-CP

Totally, all FY students study 60 FY-CP during the four phases of the Foundation Year.


For the majority of modules in the Foundation Year, the students of all Bachelor programs study together. They are divided into four different Language Levels (Level A, B, C, D) depending on their English Skills proved on the VGU Onscreen Test in June and August. In each level, several  groups can be offered.

The main target of Foundation Year is to reach the level IELTS 6.0 within this academic year. Students with a lower level of English (Level A+B) therefore will have a stronger focus on IELTS Preparation to reach this goal. Students with a higher level of English (Level C+D) start earlier to learn German language.

In 2015-16 there are currently 10 groups with around 240 students studying in the Foundation Year:

  • Level D:    Students who have reached IELTS 6.0 already
  • Level C:    Students with upper-intermediate English skills, who have not yet taken the IELTS Exam.
  • Level B:    Students with intermediate English skills
  • Level A:    Students with high pre-intermediate English skills. The main focus of this group is to reach IELTS 6.0 at the end of FY.

In the Language groups, students of all bachelor programs are studying together in a program customized to their needs and levels. Two different types of English Courses are on offer:

IELTS Preparation is preparing students in all four skills for the IELTS exam, teaching them skills and strategies to pass the exam with a result of at least 6.0 during the Foundation Year. There are in total five different modules and depending on their level, students study 2-4 modules of this series.

At the end of each module, a mock exam is organized so students can know which level they have reached already. Following these results, the FY Office in cooperation with the teachers will recommend a suitable period to take the IELTS exam.

Academic English 1-6 is teaching essential study skills such as note-taking skills, presentation skills, academic writing and others in order to prepare students for the courses with international professors in the future.

General German Language: Students of Level B, C and D will start to study German language in the Foundation Year. Other students will start at the beginning of the Bachelor program. All Bachelor students of VGU are required to study at least 4 modules of German language (total 400 periods) during the four years of their Bachelor studies. German classes will be offered each semester. In order to have a chance to get a scholarship for a possible stay in Germany during the study program, higher German skills are a clear advantage.


Beside language classes, all students study special Preparation Courses in English Language as well as in basic sciences and IT. These courses are taught in so-called “Science Groups”. A science group combines all students of a study program from the language levels A+B and C+D.

English for Special Purposes (ESP): This series of English courses focuses on vocabulary and language used in the study programs and aims to prepare students for their future work situation. Some of these modules in the engineering study programs offer a very practical approach and encourage students to work on technical projects to develop their language skills alongside a hands-on experience.

All students study 4 modules of this series depending to their study program:

  • FA students study Business English 1-4
  • EEIT students study English for Electrical Engineers 1-4
  • ME students study English for Mechanical Engineers 1-4
  • CS students study Computer Science English 1-4

Sciences courses: Beside that all students of a study program will study 8 different courses in basic sciences to bridge the gap between high school and international university. The goal of those courses is

  • to refresh the high school knowledge in basic science subjects
  • to train students to deal with the subjects in English language
  • to improve independent thinking, problem solving skills and teamwork
  • to familiarize students with helpful software skills for their study program
  • to give them a first insight into contents which are taught afterwards in the bachelor program

In general the following topics will be covered:

  • 2 modules in mathematics
  • 2 modules in a supporting subject such as Physics for Engineers or Statistics for business students
  • 2 modules in a software related to the study program
  • 2 modules with an introduction to the study program or a first hands-on project in a laboratory

Further information about all modules offered in the Foundation Year can be found in the chapter Study subjects on this website.



The Foundation Year is successfully finished if a student passes at least 80% of the modules of the Foundation Year.

Students can continue studying in the Bachelor program if they

  • have successfully finished the Foundation Year
  • have reached an IELTS score of at least 6.0 (Academic Test) until 15.09.2017
  • Students of EEIT and ME additionally have to have successfully completed the 6 weeks internship course organized by VGU in the summer break after the Foundation Year.


-    Overview and Regulation of Foundation Year 2015-16
-    Module table + time line of Foundation year 2015-16