1. What is the International Foundation Group?
IFG delivers courses to help students progress to universities at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Our main campus is in central London and we also have a smaller centre in Abu Dhabi. In addition, we have focused this year on developing partner colleges in different countries to deliver our courses. So, from September we’ll have partner centres in about ten or eleven different countries. I just hope we get plenty of students now!
2. What motivated you to start International Foundation Group?
I’ve been involved in the field of international education for many years now. Over the last decade or so, colleges offering foundation courses have become increasingly corporate. Organisations such as Study Group and INTO are amazingly successful as are other foundation colleges embedded in different universities. Our idea was, in a way, to go back in time and provide a personalised service to students, treating them like individuals and helping them to maximise their abilities.
Also we wanted to be independent of a particular university and offer a wide range of progression options.
3. What type of learners do you deliver to?
For our foundation courses, students have usually just finished high school and our job is to get them used to a different style of teaching and learning with an emphasis on evaluation and application of knowledge rather than just acquiring information.
At postgraduate level, we have a wider age range anything from 21 to 50 years old. Often these students have been out of education for some while and we provide access routes to masters and PhD courses.
We have a pretty diverse range in terms of countries with students mainly from MENA, the Far East and Africa
4. Why did you decide to offer EduGrowth programmes?
I’ve known Joseph, Managing Director of EduGrowth for a long time and enjoy working with him – I’m getting too old to work with people I don’t like!
Also I think the courses have been put together in a really clever way. They’re contemporary and the resources are excellent. Everything has been done very well.
We want to offer these courses in our different centres. Also, we will offer them to students on our full-time courses as additional qualifications they can bank while they do their main course with us.
5. Where do you see the future of further and higher education?
Goodness knows! I think Covid will accelerate the acceptance of online and blended provision certainly. Also I think there’s a trend towards a less rigid structure: school – university-career. I think there will be an increased flexibility with people building up their academic CV in a more gradual way, building a portfolio of qualifications at the same time as advancing their careers. I think it’s a good trend as it is artificial to have the traditional demarcation between the world of study and the world of work.
I think this trend will also be assisted by the more frequent changes of direction which people now make in their careers. I’m 64 and I’ve still got no idea what I want to do when I grow up!