Celebrating the First Foundation Degree Graduates

On the 11th of February 2015, a dinner was held at the Liberty Stadium to celebrate the success of the Foundation Degree (FD) in Computer Science, following the graduation of our first cohort of students.

Foundation Degree CelebrationThe FD in Computer Science is a unique qualification which combines academic and work-based learning, allowing full-time employees of private companies within the convergence region of Wales the opportunity to up-skill and gain a qualification whilst remaining in full-time employment. With just a half day release from work per week, the training offers the opportunity for students to apply their new knowledge and skills directly into their working lives. It was set up in 2012 with the help of Welsh Government funding through the European Social Fund (ESF).

The celebratory dinner provided an opportunity for people from business and academia to come together and further Computer Science's relationship with industry through ITWales, the industrial liaison unit of the Computer Science Department. Short presentations were given by a cross section of stakeholders in the project: from a graduating student and work place mentor who had engaged with the programme reflecting on their personal experiences of how the course has impacted on their personal and professional lives, through to senior academics in the college including Professor Faron Moller (Director of the Foundation Degree), Professor Arnold Beckmann (Head of Computer Science), and Professor John Tucker (Head of Knowledge Economy and Engagement). A great evening was had by all who attended, and we received plenty of positive feedback on the success of the FD programme throughout the evening from all who attended.

The ESF funding for this programme is coming to an end, but there are ongoing discussions about the possibility of enrolling a new cohort of fee-paying students this Autumn, as well as rolling out a work-based learning 3rd Year to our BSc degree programme which follows the same teaching model, allowing students graduating from the FD programme to extend their qualification to a full BSc (Hons) in Computer Science whilst continuing their full-time employment.