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Journal Article

Practitioner views on the wider benefits of further education


Publication date



In this paper, the views of further education (FE) practitioners regarding the 'wider benefits' of FE are examined. The wider benefits are defined as encompassing both non-pecuniary private benefits (such as improved self-esteem, health and quality of life) and those impacting on society as a whole (such as community regeneration and cultural development). Through quantitative and qualitative analysis of questionnaires distributed to practitioners in 35 FE colleges in conjunction with the Learning and Skills Development Agency, the types of benefits arising from FE and the mechanisms involved in the production of those benefits are examined. Results indicate that esteem, self-efficacy and the development of social networks are important benefits of FE and that purposive social interaction is a major factor in producing social benefits. This is particularly the case in health and humanities subjects. The policy implications for FE are that a diverse, socially integrated and less administratively burdened sector is required if wider benefits are to be realised.

Published in

Journal of Further and Higher Education

Volume and page numbers

27 , 211 -222





Not held in Res Lib - bibliographic reference only


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