Higher education in further education colleges

iStock_000006261609_ExtraSmallSome further education colleges offer undergraduate courses leading to degrees of partner universities, under a franchising arrangement.

Further education colleges may provide Foundation Degree courses, which entitle  students who complete them successfully to go on to complete a degree course. That may mean gaining a place at a university.

Students considering applying for higher education courses run in further education colleges may find the tuition fee is lower.

Students should be able to see from the website what proportion of the College’s teaching is at higher education level and whether they will find the student experience there compares well with the ‘university’ experience.

Does the college provide a full ‘university experience’ ?

Are the lecturers specialists in your subject?

In December 2013, the QAA published a new study:

Capturing an HE ethos in college higher education practice 


This considers two needs for students who take higher education courses in further education colleges:

first, that experience needs to be demonstrably higher, not just in terms of enabling students to achieve high level learning outcomes, but also that students should experience, what has been referred to as, an ‘HE ethos’

second, that this experience needs to be soundly underpinned by a culture of ‘scholarship and research.