So, you’re fresh out of SPM and ready to take on the next big step of your life — planning your tertiary education.
After much thought and research, you come across the foundation programme that seems to tick a number of boxes. It’s fast, affordable and can lead you to your degree of choice. But is it your perfect match?
If you’re still on the fence, we’ve compiled a list of benefits you can gain from studying a foundation to help you feel more confident about your decision!
#1. It’s a fast-track programme with a 1-year duration
Taking only 12 months to complete, a foundation programme has the upper hand when it comes to study duration. Its short and snappy schedule packs in a variety of content, assignments, projects and tests, preparing you well for the dynamic world of your undergraduate degree.
So, if you’re keen on leaping to a degree as soon as you can, signing up for a foundation course is a no-brainer and a time-saver. Plus, the quicker you complete your degree, the sooner you’ll land a job so that you can gain more experience ahead of your peers.
#2. You’ll get a head start on your degree through a focused syllabus
Do you already have an idea of what degree you want to pursue? Perhaps you have your sights set on a specific career. Whether it’s the former or the latter, it makes perfect sense to study a foundation programme as it can launch you directly into your chosen field.
By taking focused foundation programmes (e.g. Foundation in Business, Foundation in Engineering, Foundation in Design), you’ll be able to learn the basics of your chosen field early on. This is because these foundation programmes offer specific subjects and modules that are aimed to help you excel in your degree later on.
Not only that, but you’re more likely to gain industry exposure from hands-on projects, seminars and field studies, giving you a greater insight into the industry you’re interested in.
#3. It’s a direct pathway to a wide range of degrees
What if you’re not quite sure what you want to study for your degree?
Don’t worry, a foundation programme isn’t as limiting as most people think. While there are foundations that are geared toward a specific degree, some universities also offer foundation programmes that are more broad-based.
Specifically, Foundation in Science and Foundation in Arts are programmes that allow you to take on more general subjects related to the stream of your choice. A Foundation in Science, for instance, could consist of subjects such as mathematics, chemistry and biology, allowing you to progress to degrees like medicine, pharmacy, food science and biomedical science.
On the other hand, a Foundation in Arts can open doors to social science and creative degrees like communication, business, law and psychology through a mixture of subjects such as English, social psychology, accounting and economics.
So even if you’re unsure what degree to study, a foundation can still be a good choice.
#4. You’ll be better prepared academically for your university degree
Going from having structured daily classes and final exams in secondary school to juggling lectures, tutorials, assignments and projects during your degree can be a huge surprise. Not only are the methods of teaching and learning different at the university level, but you also have to quickly adapt to the fast-paced environment and practise self-study. This can make things stressful if you don’t know what to expect.
This is where the advantages of a foundation come in. The mixture of coursework and exams can help you adapt to learning at university. In addition, you’ll also be doing a lot of group work, lab projects and presentations throughout your studies which can help develop your collaborative, communication and independent thinking skills.
While your degree will certainly be more challenging in terms of syllabus, the study structure will be almost similar, thus making you better adjusted when you progress further in your studies.
#5. You’ll get a feel of what it’s like to study at a university
Nervous about what university life will look like during your degree? Well, most foundation programmes are held on the same campus as the university’s degree programmes. This means that you get to experience university campus life as early as after SPM!
Enjoy university facilities (e.g. labs, project rooms, studios, sports facilities), mingle with university seniors, join clubs and societies with students from different course backgrounds and participate in various events hosted by the university.
In essence, you’ll be familiar with the university’s environment, making your learning experience during your degree less nerve-wracking.
#6. The fees are generally affordable
Let’s face it, getting a quality education can come at a hefty price. However, you don’t have to worry when it comes to a foundation as the tuition fees are relatively reasonable.
In addition, you may also find that some universities offer generous scholarships for Foundation — even more if you progress to a degree at the same university! While this will depend on your results, you can be certain that a foundation is a cost-effective pathway to an undergraduate degree.
#7. You’re guaranteed to get a spot at the university
Getting rejected for university can be devastating. But with a foundation under your belt, you’ll be assured a spot at the same university as long as you meet the requirements.
Why is that so?
Well, this is because the foundation curriculum is designed by the university to equip you with a good level of knowledge and prepare you for success at the degree level. Admission officers are confident that by completing the foundation programme, you’ll be academically prepared for further studies and have a low chance of dropping out.
This is yet another advantage of studying a foundation.
#8. You’ll already be making friends with people who will also progress with you
Worried about the whole social aspect of university life? Don’t fret!
It’s highly likely that a good portion of your foundation coursemates will join you on the same programme. Otherwise, you’re likely going to see them on campus grounds as they progress to a degree at the same university.
Having familiar faces around campus even before starting your degree can be a huge confidence booster. After all, having valuable friendships can improve your overall academic development and self-esteem, as well as make your university experience more enriching.