Laying Solid Foundations: A Review of the Foundation Year
This presentation will report on the findings and reflections from a small case study, a collaborative project between staff and students entitled “Laying Solid Foundations: A Review of the Foundation Year." This project was made possible by the support of quality-related (QR) policy funding through LJMU.
All student co-researchers have experienced a Foundation Year and their input in developing the direction for research has been at the heart of this project. A Foundation Year is broadly understood as a transitionary year that develops students’ academic skills, provides taster course content, and supports confidence in students’ own identity as learners (Sanders, n.d).
Nationally, from 2012-13 to 2017-2018, the number of students entering university on integrated Foundation Year programmes tripled from 10,430 to 30,030 (Office for Students, 2019). Foundation Years have significantly widened participation of under-represented groups (e.g. mature students, minoritised communities, students from lower participation neighbourhoods, disabled students) in Higher Education (Braisby, 2019; Kettley and Murphy, 2021). However, research into the effectiveness of Foundation Years remains in its infancy mainly because many courses have only just started in the last few years.
This student focused research and presentation seeks to consider motivations and experiences of the Foundation Year from learning and teaching to transition and retention. It will also reflect on the building of inclusive and collaborative research with students and consider student-centred approaches to learning and teaching within the Foundation Year. Further findings from the project will directly feed into future development of the Foundation Year.
Authors retain copyright and grant the publication right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this publication.