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The foundation degree in travel operations management – a reflective perspectiveIn September 2007 60 students from TUI, the UKs largest tour operator, enrolled on an innovative new Foundation Degree in Travel Operations Management, delivered online by University of Wolverhampton, University College Birmingham and Coventry University. The FD was developed as part of University of Wolverhampton’s response to the Governments drive for ‘new, innovative awards at sub‐degree level’ launched in 2000. It is managed through the Department for Leisure and Lifestyle Industries Management (LALIM) as the lead partner in the group of HEIs, working under the umbrella of UKTEP, the UK Travel Education Partnership. A project steering group involving staff from each HEI, the employer and Foundation Degree Forward, monitors the programme. The long‐term aim is for the programme to become the National Standard for the Travel Industry and the first 60 students are the pilot for this programme. Eight months on this article reflects on the progress of the students and considers some of the challenges for the future.