Foundation Programs are compulsory when students do not have the level to enter a specific program. It is often the case in Art program where fundamentals are needed or in disciplines where a high level of mathematics is required. Some programs accept in their programs students who have studied a foundation Program.
Some call these programs preparatory programs. They are often used as pathways to a number of courses.
Secondary Education systems in some countries do not have enough years of study and therefore students applying to Universities abroad may have to complete a foundation program.