• Further Education Facts

TSR Wiki > A Guide to Further Education > Further Education Facts

UK Further Education Facts

So what is Further Education? Further Education is education or training that is studied after your compulsory education, which ends when you finish at secondary school. You will probably already know whether you can do your chosen further education at your school 6th form (if it has one), but you may not be so familiar with Colleges.


Colleges (sometimes called FE Colleges) are specialist further education providers. There are 356 Colleges in England, 22 Colleges and two FE institutions in Wales, 43 Colleges in Scotland and 6 Colleges in Northern Ireland. This page aims to give you some interesting facts and figures about studying at college: you never know, you may be surprised...


Here are some fast facts about Colleges:


  • Every year Colleges educate and train around three million people
  • 737,000 16 to 18-year-olds choose to study in Colleges (compared with 487,000 in all schools)
  • 95% of General Further Education Colleges are involved in delivering the new Diplomas in England
  • 82,000 14 to 16-year-olds are enrolled at a College
  • Colleges provide 39% of entrants to higher education
  • More than half of all Foundation Degree students are taught in Colleges
  • 91% of General Further Education Colleges teach Foundation Degrees
  • Colleges deliver 73% of Higher National Certificates and 60% of Higher National Diplomas
  • 172,000 students study higher education in a College
  • 269 Colleges provide higher education
  • Colleges educate over 56,000 students from outside the UK
  • The average A-level or equivalent point score for Sixth Form Colleges is 794.8 (compared with 757.4 for school sixth forms)
  • One-third of A-level students study at a College
  • 46% of those achieving a Level 3 qualification by age 19 do so at a College
  • 45% of all vocational qualifications are awarded via Colleges; 6% are awarded through employers
  • The three most popular qualifications taught in Colleges at Level 4 and above are: Accounting; Business, Administration and Law; Health and Social Care
  • Ethnic minority students make up 18% of learners in Colleges compared with 12% of the general population
  • 13% of 16 to 18-year-olds in Colleges are from a deprived background compared with 8% in maintained school sixth forms
  • 135,000 College students are aged over 60
  • 68% of those in receipt of an Education Maintenance Allowance study in a College
  • 81% of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students study at a College
Source: Association of Colleges


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