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The Engineering subject centre within the Higher Education Academy has co-operated in the production of a report on foundation degrees in engineering. The report which was produced in conjunction with fdf, Foundation Degree Forward, sought to survey the current provision of foundation degrees in the sector. Their detailed findings can be accessed by viewing the full report (Adobe PDF file) on http://www.engsc.ac.uk/downloads/resources/foundation_degrees.pdf.
A summary of their findings is as follows;
One finding is that some of the provision is tailored to specific local or national need. This may be an area for potential providers of Materials courses. For example, those who are currently offering BTEC Nationals in Materials-related subjects in response to local demand might wish to extend their provision into higher level courses in conjunction with an FE or HE institution who have degree awarding powers.
One of the big attractions of FDs is that they can be studied locally, at much lower cost to students and/or parents, thus it is probably unlikely that an FD which requires a wide geographic catchment area to fill the course would be able to market it successfully. In particular, part time courses depend almost entirely on local demand. However, distance learning could provide a solution to this.
he report confirms that work-based learning for full-time students still appears to present problems.