FE or Further Education in the UK is any study after secondary education that is not a part of an undergraduate or graduate degree. Universities, technical colleges, adult & community colleges and specialised Further Education colleges offer these courses.
Courses under Further Education cover many subjects like basic English and math, and all the way up to Higher National Diplomas (HNDs). FE courses have iterative levels, with each level offering a degree. Like, level 1 qualification involves the basic level study of subjects and includes degrees such as NVQ, BTECH introductory certificate and OCR Nationals. Also, there’s level 1 to level 2 studies in FE.
The Utility of Further Education
Many students opt for Further Education as it’s a convenient path to get job opportunities. Studies of participation in FE reveal a variety of data that holds importance for many students.
Statistical data and studies on people pursuing Further Education
Most of these studies were done in the ethnic bracket and may reveal relation of ethnicity with participation in FE. 5 standardise ethnic groups viz. – Asian or Asian British, African/Black/ Caribbean/Black British, white, mixed or multiple ethnic groups and other ethnicities.
The studies measured how many people took part in FE, categorised by ethnicity. Here are the major interpretations of these data –
- Percentage of Asians, Black and Mixed people pursuing Further Education rose from 13.3% to 20.5% between 2002-03 and 2016-17 academic years.
- However, the total number of people in FE fell from 4.7 million to 3.3 million between 2002-03 and 2016-17, a drop of 33%. Additionally, the number of participants belonging to white ethnicity fell by 35% in the same period from 3.8 million to 2.4 million.
- People belonging to white ethnicity made up 77.7% of the total no. of people in Further Education, and 84.8 % of the overall English population.
Another statistical study focused on the population in FE by ethnicity over time. The interpretation of these data are as follows –
- The academic year of 2004/05 saw the number of people in Further Education reaching 5.6 million mark.
- People belonging to ethnic groups like Asian, Black, and Mixed peaked at its highest point in 2008/09 at 832,000. Also, the people from white ethnicity pursuing FE were the highest in 2004/05 at 4.5 million.
- The overall percentage of people in Further Education fell by 43% after 2004/05. Furthermore, participation from minority ethnic groups has dropped by 19%. However, going against this trend, participation of people belonging to mixed ethnicity rose by 21%.
Similarly, studies have been done comparing the percentage of people in FE from each ethnic group with the overall population. The dates from these studies led them to the following interpretations –
- In the academic year of 2016/17, people belonging to white ethnicity comprised 77.7% of the total candidates in FE. Also, 84.8% in England are of white ethnicity.
- 6% of the total population in England is Black people, and they comprise 6.6% of the total number of people following FE.
- Other ethnic groups amount to 2.3% of the total number of people in FE. They make up 1.1% of England’s overall population.
People of all groups participate in Further Education courses as, most of the times, they are free of cost and provide degrees that have decent value in their respective industry.