What higher education means

With so many recent changes, many people are understandably confused about what ‘higher education’ really is.

In general, higher education means a university-level education which can lead to a degree a foundation degree, a Higher National Diploma (HND) or a Higher National Certificate (HNC) qualification. These qualifications can be achieved through successful programmes of study at universities, other higher educational institutions or by completing a higher or degree apprenticeship.

Whichever route you choose, a degree is recognised throughout the world and in addition to your chosen subject, you will be able to demonstrate a range of skills that are highly-valued by employers. A university education can help you develop and demonstrate motivation, your ability to apply skills, communicate and to take responsibility for your own work.

The world of work is changing very quickly and there has been an increase in demand for employees with higher skills. There are thousands of jobs that didn’t exist 10 years ago and many of them demand in-depth and specialist skills.

Degree apprenticeship


Generally, apprentices spend most of the week at work. Apprenticeships are free for people under 25 and often pay good starting salaries. A higher apprenticeship can be equivalent to between one or three years of university study and gives you an equivalent qualification at the end. A degree apprenticeship will usually take three years and will give you a degree as well as experience in your chosen field.


University degree


Studying at university is very different from school or college. You will have less lesson time and more time to study independently. You’ll have the opportunity to work with academics who are leaders in their field of study and meet people who may provide opportunities for employment. Universities are multicultural hubs, where you can meet and live with people from around the world.

Watch Nikki’s story to find out more.