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Access to HE courses offer better value than foundation years, says AoC

students stood in corridor

In response to the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI)’s report, “Cracks in our foundations: Evaluating foundation years as a tool for access and success”, Marguerite Hogg, Senior Policy Manager, Association of Colleges, said:

“The research from HEPI only shows part of the picture as it does not include access to higher education (HE) courses run by further education colleges across the country.

“We believe that access to HE courses offer many learners better value than foundation years. These are qualifications in their own right with a long and successful track record of progression to university. The fees are much lower, and students can take out an adult learner loan (ALL) to cover this, with the debt being written off if they go on to successfully complete a degree level qualification. Because many colleges deliver this provision, it means that it widens participation as many learners can study locally whilst living at home. These courses are especially beneficial for those adult learners with work and/or family commitments.

“Foundation years also provide a stepping stone to a degree, but the fees are additional to any undergraduate degree level course and therefore result in a larger student loan debt.

“We would encourage adult learners to look at whether an access to HE course would better serve their needs as a pathway to HE. There are many FE colleges now delivering some really exciting routes into HE for medicine, midwifery, nursing, as well as in other sectors.”

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