Published on 19/07/2022
Aston University hosts event to bring together professionals who are opening up higher education through alternative study routes
  • Foundation Year Network Annual Conference 2022 was held at Aston University in Birmingham
  • Focus on supporting a wide range of students in their transition to higher education
  • More than 100 delegates from across the UK attended.

More than 100 professionals from across the UK travelled to Birmingham to attend a conference about how to provide high quality support and education to those entering higher education via an alternative route.

The Foundation Year Network Annual Conference 2022 was held at Aston University, and online, on 11 and 12 July. 

Foundation programmes are one year courses that can offer an alternative route to study for prospective students not eligible for direct entry onto an undergraduate course.

The delegates from a range of higher education institutions across the country took part in presentations, talks and workshops on the theme of ‘communities of learning’.  

The two-day event was organised locally by staff from across Aston University’s foundation programmes and in conjunction with the Foundation Year Network’s executive committee.

The event focused on the theme of communities that are built and supported in the delivery of foundation programmes across UK universities, and how these provide an effective and meaningful educational route for a diverse range of students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to access higher education. 

Dr Rebecca Broadbent is the interim programme director for the engineering and applied science foundation programme at Aston University and chaired the local organising committee for the conference. She said: “Aston University is proud of its foundation programmes because they embody our belief in widening participation through enabling access to higher education. 

“We were delighted to host the conference at Aston University which provided an ideal opportunity for professionals to get together and discuss how we can continue to provide a high-quality education that enables students from a range of backgrounds, including under-represented groups, to flourish.”

The conference was dedicated to Dr Darren Campbell, who was head of department for the Aston Foundation Centre, who passed away in April 2022. 

Notes to editors

Notes to Editors

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Saskia Loer Hansen is the interim Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University was named University of the Year 2020 by The Guardian and the University’s full time MBA programme has been ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking. The Aston MBA has been ranked 12th in the UK and 85th in the world.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Nicola Jones, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)7825 342091 or email

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Sue Smith, Head of Press and Communications
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Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5065

Rebecca Hume, Press and Communications Manager
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Nicola Jones, Press and Communications Manager
  •  07825 342091

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