This year’s batch of graduates who began their studies at Durham via the Foundation programme really have something to celebrate. Almost forty percent of the group earned a first class honours degree, and over half (53%) who have completed their programmes achieved a 2:1. Together that equates to over ninety percent of former Foundation students who have completed this year, achieving a higher ranked degree, a much greater rate than the sector average.
‘It’s that time of year again,’ says Head of Foundation Programmes (DCAD), Steve Leech. ‘The students always get it in touch to let us know their degree results, which is something all the team really enjoy hearing about.’ He explains that staff regularly keep in touch with their former Foundation students, both informally via email and social media, as well as more formally through the Foundation Forum and other events. ‘We love to hear from our past students, and we know that typically Foundation students perform as well as standard entry students who come via the more traditional A-level route.’
However, as everyone knows, this year has been extraordinary, and not just because of the pandemic. ‘We knew things might be a bit different, so we decided to conduct some data analysis and it seems we’ve had one of our best cohort of graduates ever, in spite of all the challenges these students have faced. We couldn’t be prouder.’
One graduate, Debbie Corbett, who achieved a first class honours in her Liberal Arts degree, told her tutor before her mum. ‘I couldn’t believe it, I had to message her first to check. Then I cried!’ Many Foundation students continue their studies after graduation; single mum and former night club manager Debbie is no exception. Off to do an MA at Newcastle in classics and ancient history next year, she has recently been made a trustee of a major North-East Museum and has also secured a paid research post at Durham Centre for Academic Development (DCAD) over the summer. ‘The DCAD research is to help design and develop inclusive learning communities at Durham University. I can’t wait to get stuck in and help more students from the North-East and across the UK to experience a wonderful and successful time at Durham.’