Skip to main content

Foundation degree first years up 25%

This press release looks at students studying below first degree level – termed by HESA as “other undergraduates”. Data in this press release relates to UK domiciled students only.

The number of foundation degree first year students increased by 25.2 per cent up from 13,405 in 2003/04 to 16,780 in 2004/05. This data relates to foundation degree enrolments at UK higher education institutions. It does not include data relating to students studying foundation degrees at further education colleges. Taken as a whole, foundation degree student numbers of all years of study were up 39.2 per cent to 29,260 – an increase of 8,245.

A slightly higher proportion of students are now opting to study full-time for a foundation degree. In 2004/05 53.5 per cent (15,665) students chose full-time study compared to 49.3 per cent last year. 72.2 per cent of foundation degree students were aged 21 or over, slightly down on last year’s figure of 75.3 per cent. The gender gap has narrowed slightly on last year, 66.9 per cent of foundation degree students were women in 2003/04 compared to 62.4 per cent in 2004/05.

First years studying for a HND fell by 18.2 per cent to 13,405 from 16,380. The overall HND student cohort fell by 18.6 per cent to 27,425 – a decrease of 6,255. HNC first years fell by 6.3 per cent from 9,720 to 9,105 and a fall of 6.1 per cent or 1,010 was recorded for HNC students of all years of study to 15,475.

Looking at other undergraduate students overall, including other sub-degree courses as well as foundation degrees, HNDs and HNCs, first year students fell by 0.2 per cent from 295,295 to 294,630. Students of all years of study increased by 0.8 per cent, or 4,045, from 484,150 to 488,195.

A table showing first year other undergraduate students by subject area and level of study follows at the end of this press release.

Notes to editors

Press enquiries should be directed to:

This data does not exclude foundation degree students who are franchised out from a higher education institution to a further education institution.

  • HND – Higher National Diploma
  • HNC – Higher National Certificate
  • Other sub-degree – examples of courses in this group include Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE), Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE), foundation courses at HE level, NVQ/SVQ levels 4 and 5.

Students whose attributes are recorded as unknown have been excluded from percentage calculations. Data on students is sourced from the HESA Student Record 2003/04 and 2004/05. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 5 in accordance with HESA’s standard rounding methodology.

More information on student numbers can found in the HESA publication Students in Higher Education Institutions 2004/05. See the products section of our website for more information.

Number of first year other undergraduate students by subject area, level of study and academic year.
  2004/05 2003/04
Subject area Foundation
degree
HND HNC Other
sub-degree
Total Foundation
degree
HND HNC Other
sub-degree
Total
Medicine & dentistry 0 0 0 235 235 0 0 0 210 210
Subjects allied to medicine 1755 275 315 74940 77290 1085 265 365 75180 76895
Biological sciences 780 710 175 4485 6150 375 620 200 3970 5165
Veterinary science 0 0 0 0 0 0 20 0 0 25
Agriculture & related subjects 885 560 365 625 2435 555 810 340 530 2235
Physical sciences 190 120 145 2355 2815 100 130 135 1955 2320
Mathematical sciences 0 5 0 855 860 55 20 0 510 585
Computer science 1335 2275 975 10800 15385 1050 3365 1310 8825 14550
Engineering & technology 1440 1900 2510 3580 9430 1015 2070 2430 2515 8030
Architecture, building & planning 270 705 1510 1585 4070 125 830 1480 1275 3705
Social studies 1435 265 530 14795 17025 1350 370 595 19325 21645
Law 320 95 30 1815 2260 35 145 40 1730 1945
Business & administrative studies 2440 3600 2035 17075 25150 1640 4545 2185 19060 27430
Mass communications & documentation 345 335 30 1940 2650 255 470 40 2030 2800
Languages 10 5 0 19795 19810 0 5 10 21005 21020
Historical & philosophical studies 175 0 0 11275 11450 55 5 20 12715 12795
Creative arts & design 1960 2375 460 9090 13885 1290 2305 415 8110 12115
Education 3430 175 25 29855 33485 4425 395 160 27750 32730
Combined 15 0 0 50245 50255 0 5 0 49090 49095
Total 16780 13405 9105 255340 294630 13405 16380 9720 255790 295295

Ends

Share
Press Release
HESA Press Office author avatar

Press Officer