Foundation Year Network – Census

The Foundation Year Network (FYN) would like to collect information about Foundation Year (FY) provision across the UK. We would like to use the data we collect to provide FYN members and interested parties with a clearer picture of what FY provision looks like.

Data from Leech & Marshall (2016)*, which provided insight into the diversity of FY provision in the UK, is now nearly 10 years old. Using public data, harvested from university webpages, this research presented a picture of FY provision, which showed that there was substantial variation between the student populations that UK FYs serve (fee status, WP indicators, educational attainment); locus of FY delivery (within HE/FE, academic departments, or dedicated FY units) and in the academic subjects routes they served. It noted that the diversity in FY arose because each FY was specifically designed to support students within a specific institutional context. The research concluded that a strength of UK FY provision was its capacity to offer dynamic and contextualised preparation for undergraduate study, responding rapidly to the unique strategic contexts of both student and institutional need.


FYN members will be aware that the Department for Education and the Government are exploring Higher Education funding and discussing the relative value for money presented by FY and alternative routes to prepare students for HE. Within these discussions, however, FY programmes are often considered to be homogenous. FYN would like to provide clear, up to date information about UK FY provision, to help both its members and other interested parties engage in evidence-based discussions regarding FY provision in the UK.

This census is being conducted by Sarah Hale and Steve Leech, who are members of the FYN Executive Committee. The deadline for submitting responses is Monday 14 June 2021.

Respond here.

*Leech, S & Marshall, C (2016). ‘Understanding Foundation Year Provision’ in Widening Participation, Higher Education and Non-traditional Students: Supporting Transitions through Foundation Programmes. Marshall, C, Nolan, S & Newton, D Palgrave Macmillan.

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