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Renee Fraser-Shepherd

Foundation Year Clearing Case Study

After not quite meeting the grades she needed to get onto her original course, Renee was offered a foundation year at Northumbria and didn’t look back.  

Renee knew she wanted to run a business one day, so was curious about the chance to study Entrepreneurial Business Management at foundation level before joining the course properly the following year.  

“I was apprehensive at first as I was keen to get started with my degree,” Renee said. “But, it was 1000% the best thing for me. It has been a privilege to get an extra year to understand my subject and the business world.” 

As part of the course, Renee successfully launched her own business, Sloobie Skiwear. Commenting on this achievement Renee said: “I didn’t have a specific business dream when I started my degree – the idea came to me out of frustration when I noticed a gap in to market for fashionable base layers. 

“The support from Northumbria has been fantastic, and very extensive! I’ve been presented with some great opportunities throughout my degree and my professional network has grown significantly, which is something I can take with me as I continue to grow my business. 

“The Student and Graduate Enterprise team have also been a fantastic asset. With their help, I successfully launched Sloobie in December 2022 and have since been featured in Glamour magazine and had a pop up in Fenwick, Newcastle.” 

Approaching graduation, Renee praised her course: “What I have loved most about my degree is the practical element. It’s a very hands-on programme. I have always struggled with exams and so it was important to me, when choosing a university, that they catered to my style of learning. Not to mention how passionate every member of the teaching staff is. They genuinely care about the outcome of your business and they want you to succeed.” 

There are many reasons which bring students to the clearing hotline and Renee is a great ambassador for foundation year offers. “It can be quite upsetting if you don’t get the results you were hoping for, but I wouldn’t change a thing about my university experience,” she said. “A lot more people do foundation years than you think. And I met people in that very first year who I’m now best friends with. 

“There are a lot of mixed emotions on results day, but my best tip is to not panic. If you, like me, have to look for alternatives to your original choice, remember that it can be a really positive thing. A foundation year gave me extra time to develop as a professional.” 

Northumbria University has a limited number of places available for high quality students through Clearing this Summer. For more information, visit Northumbria University’s Clearing Hub or call the Clearing Hotline on 0800 085 1085. 


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