Foundation Degree Forward (fdf) closed in July 2011 after eight years at the heart of employer engagement in higher education. A press release about fdf’s closure can be found on the HEFCE website here.
fdf was established in 2003 by the (then) Department for Education and Skills. Funding was provided by HEFCE. fdf was initially tasked with developing innovative approaches to the creation of Foundation degrees, with a very clear focus on establishing employer engagement in Foundation degree development. fdf also worked extensively with colleges on enhancing their Foundation degrees provision.
In 2006 HEFCE broadened the fdf remit beyond the Foundation degree qualification to embrace an emphasis upon establishing and sustaining employer demand for appropriate higher education provision in general.
Where can I now find fdf’s services and resources?
- fdf worked with employers and higher education providers to develop hundreds of Foundation degree programmes. These included innovative national Foundation degrees for the retail, ICT and travel industries (in partnership with companies such Tesco, BT and TUI) and programmes that helped to transform the NHS and social care workforces
- fdf developed the Employer Based Training Accreditation (EBTA) Service that enhanced and accredited employers’ in house training. This service brought higher education opportunities to thousands of employees of companies such as Jewson and Murco. The EBTA service is now hosted by QAA and details can be found at http://www.fdfebta.co.uk
- fdf developed web-based information, advice and guidance for work-based learners and their advisors. These resources are now hosted by unionlearn at www.higherlearningatwork.org
- fdf developed e-learning resources that support delivery of work-based higher education in sectors such as Retail, Travel and Low Carbon Energy as well as an on-line programme for SMEs. These remain available at www.workforcedevelopment.fdf.ac.uk
- fdf commissioned major research projects that examined the experiences of employers and students who utilised Foundation degrees. The reports remain available at www.heacademy.ac.uk/fdf
- fdf produced guidance for those developing and delivering work-based higher education. Publications and guides remain available at www.heacademy.ac.uk/fdf
- fdf produced case studies illustrating: innovative programme design; employer engagement; accreditation of work-based higher education; and student stories. These remain available at www.heacademy.ac.uk/fdf
- fdf developed dozens of Foundation Degree Frameworks with Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) and sector bodies. These are available from SSC websites.