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Warwick Lays Foundation For More Degrees

People who have never had access to higher education are set to benefit from a new scheme that will open up universities to them.

The University of Warwick has been selected as one of the first 20 institutions to take part in a national initiative which begins today.

Foundation degrees will equip students with technical skills, academic knowledge and transferable skills increasingly demanded by employers.

Employers are to be involved in recruiting sixty students for two new degree courses 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. He said:

"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.

They are designed to address the shortage of people with intermediate-level skills by supplying highly-qualified graduates in a wide variety of professional areas.

Warwick’s first foundation degree is 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, and will be aimed at those working in the community and voluntary sector.

The second course on offer is a foundation degree in Learning Support, aimed at teaching assistants. It will be delivered by the university's Institute of Education, one of the largest providers of teacher training in the country.

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."

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CWN / Education / University of Warwick / 28 Nov 00

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