FE students just as happy as those who go to university, study reveals

There is no 'right way' to study or progress into employment, according to large-scale research by academics at the UCL Institute of Education

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Young people who study in further education are just as likely to be happy in their later lives as those who go to university, a study suggests.

Researchers from the UCL Institute of Education and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that, among almost 10,000 young people living in England who took part in the study, there was no significant difference in life satisfaction between those who chose FE or HE.

'Multiple pathways'

The study, called Next Steps, followed young people's transitions from Year 9 to the age of 26. It concluded that there was no "right way" to transition into adult life, and that there were "multiple pathways to a successful transition".

The report states: "There are no significant differences in levels of life satisfaction between those in higher education, vocational training, and employment after some further education."

The study found that some 45 per cent of the young people analysed continued in full-time education after the compulsory school leaving age. Meanwhile, 42 per cent of young people made the transition into the labour market – including 6.5 per cent who engaged in vocational training and 14.5 per cent who entered employment after some time in FE.

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