Research and analysis
The impact of further education learning
Analyses the financial and non-financial benefits of further education and training. BIS research paper number 104.
Ref: BIS/13/597 PDF, 1.03MB, 82 pages
The impact of further education learning: data tables
This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.
A review of existing research papers identified the non-financial benefits from further education and training, including improvements in:
- health and wellbeing
- social interactions and cohesion
- social mobility
- communication and independence
- reduced crime
A telephone survey of 4,000 people in further education and training measured the financial and non-financial benefits of further education and training. It also explored:
- the role and effectiveness of information, advice and guidance provided to students
- reasons for undertaking the course
- expectations in relation to their outcomes
- attitudes towards further education loans
- willingness to pay for further education
- what might have happened in the absence of publicly funded training
The analysis suggests financial outcomes improve as a result of learning, demonstrated through:
- employment outcomes and prospects
- having the necessary skills to undertake their job more efficiently and effectively than would otherwise be the case
Non-financial benefits include:
- changes in self-confidence or self-esteem
- an increased likelihood of becoming more involved in the local community
- a greater ability to make better use of spare time
- a greater focus or understanding of what learners want to with their lives
- more enthusiasm about, and potential uptake of, further education and learning
- enhanced interaction between people of different generations through an improved ability to assist children with school work
- being better able to manage health issues or disabilities
- improved wellbeing and happiness
The analysis suggests the non-financial benefits are significant and greater than the financial (and more quantifiable) benefits. It supports government investment in further education and skills as a way to generate long term economic growth and better social interaction.
Underlying data for this report is also available.