Lancaster University

This is archived news from Lancaster University. You can find up-to-date stories in our current news section.

Lancaster to pioneer new 2 year foundation degrees

12/06/2000 10:22:31

Lancaster University has been awarded special government funding as one of 21 consortiums providing new vocational two year 'Foundation Degrees', designed to equip students for tomorrow's jobs market.

Delivered by the University's Centre for Training and Development (CETAD) the Foundation Degree in Applied Guidance will be appropriate for individuals both employed and unemployed and for a wide range of organisations - public, private, voluntary and community groups. The Foundation Degree is applicable for both youth and adult guidance. The bid was supported by Cumbria Careers Ltd and the NTO National Council. There are huge opportunities for the Foundation Degree as the Government begins to implement its new 'joined up' information, advice & guidance service for 13 -19 year olds called 'Connexions'.

The Foundation Degrees will be delivered on a flexible, part-time basis within the workplace and are designed to bring real benefits to both individuals and organisations. A Foundation Degree can lead to a Lancaster University honours degree in Educational Studies, on completion of an extra 1.3 years of study.

Lancaster University is also the lead institution for two other foundation degrees provided by associated institutions Edge Hill College of Higher Education in Ormskirk and Blackburn College. Edge Hill, with St. Martin's College in Lancaster, will offer a two year degree for teaching assistants working in Lancashire schools, and Blackburn will offer a technology foundation degree supported by local employers in the Blackburn area.

Professor Oliver Fulton, Dean for the Associated Institutions at Lancaster University, says that the new degree fills a gap in the qualification market: 'This qualification is more academically grounded than current vocational qualifications. It will provide new opportunities for individuals to study by offering flexible work-based learning with the possibility of an honours degree at the end. It is equally good for employers, who are getting a specially trained work-force.'

The degrees have a consortia-based approach in which universities, further education colleges and employers develop the programmes designed to meet the needs for identifiable skills in a particular sector or occupation.

A total of 40 foundation degree courses will be offered throughout England by 21 consortia, involving 35 higher education institutions, 70 further education colleges and a range of employers, national training organisations and other organisations representing industry's needs. The HEFCE has allocated £5 million in development funds and 2,000 student places for the new courses.

The new vocationally-oriented qualifications, will be delivered in two years (or a part-time equivalent) and are designed to attract students from a wide range of backgrounds. The foundation degree will equip students with the technical skills, academic knowledge and transferable skills that employers increasingly demand in a range of sectors, including health care, information technology and e-business, property and construction, and chemical technology.