Primed and readied

April 3, 2014

The feature “The rise of the route masters” (20 March) could have benefited from contrasting private pre-degree schemes with the aims and values of some of the earliest university foundation programmes to be established.

The University of Warwick was one of the first in the UK to provide an international foundation programme, which was established in 1983. Over the past 30 years, Warwick has successfully prepared more than 5,000 international students for undergraduate programmes, not just at Warwick, but at institutions across the UK.

Unlike many other providers, Warwick does not set progression targets for its foundation programme, and the course is administered and managed fairly autonomously from within our international office. Moreover, the team that manages admissions to that programme has no involvement in wider university admissions, particularly at undergraduate level. This very deliberate separation gives us confidence that our IFP students enter Warwick on merit and not simply via proximity to the university.

Each year about 35 per cent of IFP students progress to Warwick, and the majority of the remainder gain places at other Russell Group universities. We are pleased that this is achieved not through an arbitrary target but through the hard work of our teachers and advisers working around the clock to support the varied academic ambitions of our students.

Christina Hughes
Pro vice-chancellor (teaching and learning)
University of Warwick

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