Robinson, Denise (2012) Higher Education in Further Education: student perceptions of the value of foundation degree qualifications. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 17 (4). pp. 453-469. ISSN 0309-877X

This paper seeks to illuminate the crucial and contradictory features of Higher Education (HE) in Further Education (FE) student experience as seen through students’ perceptions. The empirical study of Foundation degree (Fd) students studying in FE Colleges using a critical hermeneutics approach, raises a contrasting perspective on the HE in FE landscape. It points to the students’ emerging critical awareness of the perceived limitations of the Fd qualification within the HE landscape and offers an insight into differing critiques of widening participation and opportunities for social mobility (Ainley 2009; Osborne 2006). This is in contrast to various UK government policy statements which claim that widening participation strategies will result in a realignment of access to educational opportunities at HE level and that such widening participation students will be incorporated into a social framework that will facilitate economic prosperity for individuals and the economy.

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