YOUR FUTURE: Choosing a Different Path

Article excerpt

WEST Midlands students unsure what to do after getting their A- level results can now follow a different career path with a new work-based qualification - the foundation degree.

Each August more than 400,000 students wait in nervous anticipation of their A-level results. But for some, what to do after they arrive can be just as unsettling.

More than 50,000 students across the UK turn to the clearing system to gain a place on a higher education course.

And this year they will find a new alternative to traditional academic qualifications.

Foundation degrees are new, higher education qualifications, which have been designed with the support of local employers and international businesses including Cisco Systems, KLM UK, Carlton TV and the Radisson Edwardian Hotel Group.

They match student demands for interesting and relevant study options with the needs of companies to fill specific skills gaps in key industry sectors.

The new courses, which are available across the country from September, are very different in both content and teaching methods to traditional higher education qualifications.

Most courses are vocational and allow for full and part-time study in both university and workplace environments, including distance and work- based learning. …