education that is provided for people after leaving school, but not at a university compare higher education Wordfindercourse, distance learning, education, exam, further education, graduate, higher education, qualification, study, tertiary See related entries: Teaching and learning Culturefurther educationFurther education in Britain means education after GCSE exams taken around the age of 16. It includes courses of study leading to A level s which students take at their school or sixth-form college. Some students go straight to a college of further education which offers a wider range of full- and part-time courses. Further education also includes training for professional qualifications in nursing, accountancy and management, and in fields such as art and music. The term higher education is used in Britain and the US to refer to degree courses at universities.In the US further education usually means any other education after secondary school. It can mean study at college, or any study towards a professional qualification, and it can have a meaning similar to that of adult education or continuing education, i.e. something that people do after completing their main education, often for personal interest and satisfaction.Many students in Britain take vocational training courses in fields such as building, engineering, hairdressing or secretarial skills. Colleges of further education offer courses leading to NVQ s and other certificates and diplomas (= documents awarded for completing a course of study). Work-related courses are designed with advice from industry, with the aim of producing students who will have the skills employers require. On longer courses students may do placements (AmE internships) (= periods of work) lasting several months with companies. On other courses, called sandwich courses, students divide their time between periods of paid work and periods of study. A common arrangement is for students to get day release from their work to attend college one or two days a week over several years. Some students do a formal apprenticeship, learning their skills on the job and attending college part-time.The British government is keen to persuade more young people to remain in education as long as possible in order to build up a more highly skilled, better educated workforce. Culturevocational trainingVocational training is intended to give people the skills and knowledge they need to perform a particular job, and involves practical instruction as well as theory. Most vocational training takes place not in universities but in Further Education colleges and in colleges specializing in art, accountancy, etc. Some secondary schools now also offer an introduction to vocational training.NVQs (National Vocational Qualifications) are qualifications that can be obtained by people already working in a particular industry. Colleges of further education run courses to provide a theoretical background. NVQs are awarded on the basis of practical work, spoken and written tests, and coursework. There are five levels, from Foundation to Management. In schools and colleges people can combine study with practical training for particular kinds of employment by doing vocational GCSEs or choosing a 2-year Diploma course for students aged 14–19 at three levels, Foundation, Higher and Advanced. There are also BTEC courses in schools, colleges and universities.In the US there are no national qualifications like NVQs, though some professional organizations decide on their own qualifications and some of these have become widely accepted. Much vocational training is done by private institutions which are sometimes called proprietary schools. Although many of these are good, in general they have a bad reputation. This is partly because there are no controls over who can operate such a school. Some proprietary schools try to get as many students as possible, including some who will probably not be able to complete their training.Most US secondary schools programmes do not provide a choice between an academic and a practical track (= programme of study), but most do give students an opportunity to take some practical or vocational classes. Large school districts may have magnet schools, schools that attract students with certain interests, and some of these may have a larger choice of vocational courses.