Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
n. (context UK English) education beyond compulsory schooling, not including university-based higher education.
Further education (often abbreviated FE) in the United Kingdom and Ireland, similar to continuing education in the United States, is a term used to refer to education (in addition to that received at secondary school), that is distinct from the higher education offered in universities. It may be at any level above compulsory secondary education, from basic skills training to higher vocational qualifications such as PGCE, NVQ, City and Guilds, BTEC, HNC, HND or Foundation Degree.
A distinction is usually made between FE and higher education (HE), an education at a higher level than secondary school, usually provided in distinct institutions such as universities. FE in the United Kingdom is usually a means to attain an intermediate or follow up qualification necessary to attend university, or begin a specific career path, e.g. Quantity Surveyor, Town Planner or Veterinary Surgeon, for anyone over 16, primarily available at Colleges of Further Education, work-based learning, or adult and community learning institutions.