The biggest barrier to British adults continuing their education is cost, with more than a third (35%) saying they’re unable to afford to study, while almost a fifth (19%) say they don’t have time.
A YouGov survey of  2,109 GB adults commissioned by distance learning provider Oxford Open Learning Trust found that, although  69% of respondents said they could be motivated to learn for any type of new qualification - from GCSEs to PHDs and industry certificates - only just over a quarter of Brits (27%) are likely to actually do so.
The other barriers that Brits said most commonly stop them studying are that they don’t have the time to devote to it (19%) and feeling that another qualification would be unnecessary because they feel they are educated enough (18%).
As well as respondents also saying that they lack the motivation to study (17%), the same number also said they lack the energy. Many Brits also commented that they deem themselves too old.
The research also revealed that many British adults would be happy to continue learning if they felt they could. Receiving a boost to their pay packet is only the third most common incentive, agreed by three in ten (30%) of  Brits , whereas  42% would be more likely to take a course simply out of their own general interest in the subject.
The five most common issues that stop adults continuing with education in the future are:
1.    Lack of affordability (35%)
2.    Time constraints (19%)
3.    Not needing any further qualifications (18%)
4.    Lack of motivation (17%)
5.    Lack of energy (17%)
Adults’ five most common motivations to study in the future are:
1.    Generally interested in course / subject (42%)
2.    Improve knowledge (industry or general) (33%)
3.    Financial (30%)
4.    If they want a career change (24%)
5.    Make me more valuable to employers (21%)
Greg Smith, head of operations at Oxford Open Learning Trust, said: “The fact that so many would like to study further but don’t feel they can points to a lot of misconceptions that people have about adult education.
“For those who think they’re too old, adult learning isn’t only about furthering a career - it’s also extremely beneficial in terms of mental health. There’s evidence to show that, not only does keeping the brain active combat depression and anxiety, but also helps prevent dementia in later life and boosts confidence.
“Studying for a new qualification with a distance learning course is also vastly different to a classroom, and can be spread over a longer period to fit in with your current work or lifestyle.
“The initial cost is often far outweighed by the benefits of gaining a new qualification, through an increase in pay, a promotion or a career change.”
About Oxford Open Learning Trust: With 20 years of experience providing high quality home study options, they pride themselves on being one of the UK’s leading GCSE, IGCSE and A level distance learning course specialists. They are dedicated to helping you achieve your learning goals at a time and place that suits you. Home study or distance learning, it all equates to the same thing – high quality, comprehensive and flexible study materials that can be accessed anytime, anywhere.

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The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

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FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

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In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

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The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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