Converting overseas qualifications: ask the experts

I have worked in this country in telecommunications design for 12 years.  I was made redundant three years ago.  I had 13 years’ experience as a qualified architect overseas, but need to get my qualification recognised here. Am I eligible for any financial help?

Firstly, I suggest you get in touch with NARIC. (www.naric.org.uk) They are the official body for recognising parity of overseas qualifications with the UK. It may be that your architecture qualification is recognised here, or if it isn’t, they are the people best qualified to tell you what you need to do next in order to achieve UK professional recognition.

Once you have their answer, in terms of qualification level, you can then think about re-qualifying/upskilling yourself. Unfortunately, government funding does not generally extend to anyone with a degree, regardless from
which country they achieved it. This government’s adult education priority has been confined to helping people achieve up to NVQ Level 2 qualifications (pre-GCSE level) – anyone else is deemed to be having ‘a second bite at the cherry’ and are expected to be self-funding.

You will find that your realistic option will be to apply for a career development loan. More information about these is at www.direct.gov.uk/PCDL or www.lifelonglearning.co.uk/cdl/. You will be able to borrow tuition fees and some other study costs with a low rate of interest. However, these are still commercial loans administered by banks on behalf of the government, so you should think carefully about embarking on one, but if it is your only chance of re-qualifying then of course it is worthwhile.

Good luck.





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