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New Foundation Degrees Community Workers and Classroom Assistants Access to University

Originally published 28 November 2000

The new Foundation Degrees launched across the UK today, Tuesday 28th November, begin a new initiative to open up UK universities to even more who have not previously benefited from higher education. They will equip such students with the technical skills, academic knowledge and transferable skills that employers are increasingly demanding.

The University of Warwick is proud to be selected as one of the first 20 universities to lead this initiative. The University, working with a range of employers, will now start recruiting 60 students for two new foundation degrees designed specifically for people working as teaching assistants, and as local community or voluntary workers.

Warwick's Vice-Chancellor Sir Brian Follett welcomed the new degrees saying:

"Foundation Degrees are a new idea aimed at students who have previously felt excluded from our universities. Two important features of the new degrees are that they involve employers in delivering parts of the programmes and offer employees the chance to improve their skills and careers."

Foundation degrees can be completed in two years, or an equivalent period part-time, and also can form the first step to a full honours degree. Foundation Degrees are designed to supply highly-qualified graduates to address the shortage of people with intermediate-level skills in a wide variety of professional areas.

Warwick has been awarded funding for two new Foundation Degrees:

  1. Foundation degree in Community Enterprise and Development - This will be run in partnership with Coventry's Tile Hill College of Further Education, North Warwickshire and Hinckley College and a number of local authorities and community organisations. It will be aimed at those working in the Community and Voluntary sector (such workers make up around 2.2 % of the total UK workforce)
  2. Foundation Degree in Learning Support - this will be delivered by the University's Institute of Education, one of the largest providers of teacher training in the UK and will be aimed at teaching assistants. This will support the conclusions of the recent DfEE Green paper on Teachers Meeting the Challenge of Change which called for "more effective use of, and better training for teaching assistants and other support staff".

Further information about the above press release and all other media services at the University of Warwick can be obtained from:

Peter Dunn, Press Officer
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7AL
West Midlands
Tel: 024 76 523708