The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) annually publishes the performance indicators (PIs) for each college and also for the sector as a whole.

These PIs are one measure of the performance of a course of study although many other factors can also lead to a positive outcome.

The four main PIs used by the SFC are:

1. Early Withdrawal

This indicates that a student has withdrawn from the programme before the ‘funding qualifying date’ i.e. before approx. 25% of the course has elapsed and is calculated as follows:

A number of students will have left for what, by most, would be considered positive reasons - to take up a place at another college or higher education institution or to start a job. Every year a number of students who gain employment return to Fife College to undertake a Modern Apprenticeship (funded by their employer) or to continue their studies in a part time capacity.

2. Further Withdrawal

This indicates that the student attended after the funding qualifying date but withdrew from their studies before the programme ended.

Again, positive reasons for this include employment.

3. Completed: Partial Success 

This indicates that the student completed the programme but did not gain the qualification. It is generally accepted that the student will have gained some benefit from completing their studies and may be satisfied with the attainment they have gained as it leads to a positive outcome for them. For example, they may enrol to study four Highers but then receive a conditional offer from a university based on passing just two Highers. In that scenario the student may decide to withdraw from two of the Highers to concentrate on passing the two required for entry to their university course.

4. Completed: Successful

This indicates that the student has completed the course year and in most cases has gained the qualification they were aiming for. Note that if the student was on a course of more than one year and was not in the final year they will have progressed to the next year of study and achieved at least 70% of the units studied in the current year.