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Introduction: Why choose UK further education?

Two students talking outside a historic building in Cardiff, Wales

What is further education (FE)?

UK further education qualifications are respected by employers and academics worldwide. There are two main types:

  • Academic courses help you prepare for higher education at a university or college. They aim to develop your analytical skills, critical thinking and knowledge.

  • Vocational and professional courses give you the skills and qualifications you need to enter and succeed in your chosen career. They offer technical training and skills for the workplace.

See FE courses and qualifications to find out more.

Why choose the UK?

  • Gain a world-class education: UK education is all about giving you the inspiration to help you develop your skills, the freedom to be creative, and the support to help you achieve your best.

The style of UK further education is unique, involving high levels of personal contact and support from tutors, plenty of scope for independent learning, and many vocational qualifications are delivered in the workplace.

UK further education providers invest heavily in facilities – from libraries, computer centres and science laboratories to sports centres, theatres and arts studios. Class sizes are restricted to ensure that you have access to equipment and enough time to talk to your tutors and lecturers.

  • Achieve an internationally recognised qualification: UK further education qualifications are recognised and respected by employers and academics worldwide. Find out more in our Further education – Courses and qualifications article.

  • Prepare for the career of your dreams: UK qualifications are a great boost to your CV… and to your earnings. Employers are increasingly looking for graduates with multicultural experience. Plus, UK colleges and universities have strong links with industry – many courses are designed in partnership with, and taught by, industry professionals. Many include the option of a year in industry or a work placement, giving you real professional experience.

  • Perfect your English language skills: English is widely regarded as the language of business. Studying in the UK helps you learn the language quickly, through your studies, friends and everyday life. If you need any additional support, there are lots of English language classes across the UK. Find out more in Learn English.

  • Study what, when and where you want: With thousands of UK further education courses on offer, you can follow your passions and choose a course that matches your goals and interests. You can choose to study online or on campus, in the UK or even at an overseas campus.

  • A unique cultural adventure: Studying in the UK is an opportunity to discover the UK’s unique culture, countryside and cities. There’s lots to explore and experience, from music festivals and football matches to ancient castles and vibrant nightlife. Check out Living and studying in the UK for more details.

  • Join an international community: The UK is a truly multicultural society, with a wonderful mix of people from many different backgrounds. As a student, you'll get to know people from all over the world and be inspired by many cultures. Many colleges have international offices and advisers to ensure you feel welcome and are supported throughout your time in UK further education.

  • Quality assured: UK further education providers are inspected regularly by government organisations to ensure high standards of teaching, accommodation, welfare support and facilities. Find out more in Further education – Colleges and other institutions.

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