Building a successful foundation? The role of Foundation Year courses in preparing students for their degree
Open University, Centre for Widening Participation
MetadataDangos cofnod eitem llawn
The widening participation agenda and the need to maximize retention has led the higher education sector to consider ways to support students’ transition into degree courses. Foundation courses are seen as a means to achieve this, providing an opportunity for those who do not have the necessary qualifications to begin degree level work. The extent to which they succeed in preparing students for degree level study has yet to be evaluated. This study sought reflections from current Level 4 students who had completed one of four Foundation courses across two universities, and collected Examining Board data to assess whether the performance of Foundation graduates is comparable to that of their peers. We also surveyed the number of Foundation courses available according to the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) and found a lack of consistency in the way these courses are described. The Level 4 students had largely positive views of their respective courses stating that the experience had prepared them for degree level study. Developing a student identity and building academic confidence were two themes that permeated their responses. The performance data showed that there was no significant difference in outcome for Foundation Graduates and their direct-entry peers at the end of their first year on the degree courses.
Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning
Sanders, L. and Daly, A. (2012 -13) Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning: Special Issue: What Works? 14, pp. 42-56.
[© Sanders and Daly, 2012-13]. The article has been published in an open access journal. The definitive, peer reviewed and edited version of this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.5456/WPLL.14.S.42
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