Are you planning on going to university? If so have you considered Further Education (FE) instead? Further Education colleges come with many advantages and it might just turn out one near you offers a course or qualification that dovetails perfectly with your interests and career direction. No wonder further education is so popular, with one in eight UK students making FE their first choice.
The reasons why Further Education is so popular
First of all, further education colleges and apprenticeships cost a lot less than funding a university degree. If you study from home instead of leaving home to study, your costs will be even lower, a big consideration for students who'd rather not leave the world of education with a huge debt to pay back.
There are more than 350 Further education colleges in Britain, providing everything from A Levels to apprenticeships and even actual degree courses. Plenty provide two-year foundation degrees, where you combine useful, practical hands-on learning with academic lessons. If you want to, these can often be topped up with an extra year's study to give you a full degree, even two years if you need it.
FE colleges are a lot more varied and diverse, providing courses on vocational subjects, apprenticeships, BTECs and more. And that means you'll meet all sorts of different people, of every age and background.
Most colleges work in partnership with universities, which means you'll be awarded your degree certificate by the partner university. And because many Further education colleges come with smaller class sizes and more tutor contact hours, they're ideal if you prefer more input and support than you'd get at a university.
Our Further Education college in London is also a great way to experience a more inclusive learning experience. You may even find you get as many as twenty hours of tutorials and lectures every week at a college, whereas your university compatriots may only get eight hours at uni. That's a huge difference.
Modern apprenticeships are about much more than practical trades like engineering and plumbing. You might not feel the need to study for a degree when there's the perfect apprenticeship close to home. These days apprenticeships cover a vast range of sectors, from accountancy to childcare, aquaculture to civil engineering, insurance to cyber security, IT and telecoms.
As an apprentice you'll usually spend most of your time in the workplace, with one day a week at college. It means you enjoy excellent training created with employers and businesses in mind, learn in a real-world environment, gain the kind of experience employers value, and can put your new skills to the test instantly in a real-world environment.
Most further education colleges offer home study, perfect when you're the kind of person who learns best in peace and quiet. But there's always support from tutors at the college too, which means you benefit from unusual levels of freedom and flexibility.
Because people learn in many different ways, with many different learning styles to take into account, many colleges offer online e-learning courses, ideal for those who learn best remotely or can't physically travel to college. Further education colleges also provide the absolute basics you need to take your education to the next stage, things like GCSE equivalent functional skills courses, and many of the qualifications on offer are recognised internationally.
Plenty of modern FE colleges have been providing alternative degree level higher education successfully for a long time. Positive long-standing partnerships between FE colleges and universities provide high quality educational programmes, delivering vital resources and services for students and driving outstanding results. Because all higher education courses have to survive the exact same rigorous checks and audits as universities, the differences between the two are disappearing faster than ever before.
As a learner, why not think about applying for a course with a further education college? There are so many benefits over other educational establishments.