KEELE University is to wind up its pioneering foundation year course, which has been running since it took its first students 48 years ago.
The decision was made following signs that demand for the course was beginning to fall, said vice-chancellor Janet Finch. Recruitment figures for the four-year honours degree, which includes the foundation year, fell 30 per cent this year.
Professor Finch said: "We felt that with the way in which higher education is moving, particularly in the light of the introduction of tuition fees, four-year courses of all kinds are likely to be problematic.
"We wanted to ensure that the foundation year went out on a high note rather than withering away. It has been a wonderful characteristic of Keele, but probably it is not going to be the right thing to be offering in the future."
The last intake will be recruited for this autumn.
Elements of the course will be built into Keele's regular three-year degree programmes to maintain the university's tradition of offering a broad learning experience spanning the arts and sciences.
There will be no teaching staff redundancies as Keele plans to recruit extra three-year degree students to compensate.