The Department for the Economy has today published an Official Statistics bulletin:
Further Education Activity in Northern Ireland: 2014/15 to 2018/19.
This statistical bulletin presents a range of analysis regarding enrolments (both regulated and non-regulated) in the Northern Ireland Further Education (FE) sector, covering academic years 2014/15 to 2018/19. This analysis covers the characteristics of those enrolling in FE colleges across a range of variables, including: sex; age; mode of attendance; provision area; level of study; subject area; deprivation; funding stream; higher education; and performance (retention, achievement and success rates).
Key points include:
- Total enrolments at FE colleges have decreased by 15.8%, from 175,818 in 2014/15 to 148,002 in 2018/19; this relates mainly to a reduction in part-time enrolments and coincides with a prolonged ‘demographic dip’ among 16-19-year-olds;
- Over the period 2014/15 to 2018/19, the proportion of regulated enrolments hasn’t changed in net terms (79.7% to 79.8%);
- Of the 118,160 regulated enrolments in 2018/19, nearly four-fifths (78.6%) were at ‘Level 2’ or above;
- Higher Education enrolments at FE colleges have decreased by a net 8.7%, from 11,722 in 2014/15 to 10,704 in 2018/19;
- Fewer qualifications were awarded in FE colleges in 2018/19 (74,579) than in 2014/15 (92,479), a fall of 19.4%;
- Over the period 2014/15 to 2018/19, while the retention rate at FE colleges has increased (89.3% to 89.9%), net decreases have occurred in the rates for achievement (88.9% to 86.0%) and success (79.4% to 77.3%).
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