Further vs Higher Education
Difference between further and higher education is in the focus and outcome of each form of education. We are all aware of higher education and how it helps students gain knowledge in a chosen subject area while getting income earning opportunities to lead a comfortable and secured life. However, there is another phrase called further education that is mostly used in UK. This further education refers to a special education that is different from higher education as it is known in most parts of the world. Let us find out the differences between further education and higher education by paying attention to both terms in detail.
What is Higher Education?
All kids in UK receive compulsory education from ages 5-16. This includes 5 years of secondary education after which students need to take an examination that is referred to as GCSE or General Certificate of Secondary Education. This is a single subject exam and students generally take up to 10 GCSE level exams depending upon the number of subjects that include math and English language. It is after GCSE that students have to take a decision regarding their future, studies, and career. There are students who opt for higher education and enroll in various colleges or universities for undergraduate courses and then after passing them, these students pursue master’s level degree courses.
What is Further Education?
However, there are many students who do not have either time or money to go for higher studies. These students can opt for Further Education, also sometimes referred simply as FE. This refers to education that is distinct and different from higher education but is a level above the secondary education that is compulsory for all children between ages of 5-16. Even institutes that provide Further Education are different from those that provide degree level courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Further Education is thus an education that goes beyond secondary education but stops short of higher education. In particular, Further Education includes A level, AS level, and vocational education. However, though Further Education is more job-oriented, some choose this education as a pathway for higher education by getting the knowledge necessary for higher education.
Individuals above the age of 16 can opt for Further Education, and the colleges in which Further Education is provided are known as Further Education colleges in UK. These are similar in nature to community colleges in US, where people enroll to earn short term diplomas and certificates that get them quick employment. The courses offered are industry ready and practical oriented rather than theoretical courses taught in higher education. Those who have been to Australia might be aware of TAFE institutes that provide vocational training to people desirous of jobs straight after these colleges.
What is the difference between Further and Higher Education?
After compulsory education that includes 5 years of secondary education in UK, kids can opt for either higher education by enrolling in an undergraduate degree level course or join a special college that provides further education. Not only in UK, these Further Education institutes are there even in Australia. In Australia, these are known as TAFE (Technical and Further Education) or TACE (Technical and Continuing Education).
• Further education is an education that is a rung above the secondary education but below higher education and is taught at special colleges that provide vocational training in short term diploma and certificate courses.
• Higher education is the education a student can get at universities and colleges when one has finished secondary school and if one has enough results. In other words, it refers to undergraduate or postgraduate level education.
• Further education is job oriented. It is all about learning skills necessary in the industry. However, there are further education courses that supply knowledge higher than the secondary education but lower than the higher education level.
• Higher education is theory oriented. However, usually a student enrolled in higher education gets an opportunity to get some professional training during the university study period.
• Education Institutions:
• Further education is offered at Further Education colleges. In Australia, these are known as TAFE (Technical and Further Education) or TACE (Technical and Continuing Education).
• Higher education is offered at universities and colleges.
• To enroll in a further education institute you must have completed your compulsory secondary education.
• To enroll in higher education institutes you have to complete your 10+2 exams. You have to finish your whole secondary education period.
• Period of Study:
• The period of study for further education depends on the course you choose. Some teaching courses can take up to five years to complete.
• Normally you can complete your higher education with a bachelor’s degree in three years. However, depending on the subject stream you are following this can last for more than three years.
• It is easy to get employment after FE. However, the salaries that people get after FE are much lower than those jobs people get after their undergraduate and post graduate level courses in colleges and universities.
• Further Education can also be a pathway for higher education.
• Getting a job after high education is also easy, and usually a person with higher education gets a higher salary.
- University of Alberta via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
- Perth Central TAFE campus by Nachoman-au (CC BY-SA 3.0)