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FErret

Shopping for courses

With the cost of degrees set to rocket to as much as pound;9,000 a year from 2012, many FE colleges sense there are rich pickings to be had by targeting budget-conscious young people scared off by the costs of going to university. Now Barnet College has gone a step further by flashing its wares to prospective students in shopping centres.

Its promotional roadshow started at the Galleria designer outlet centre in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, and continues through August, stopping at High Barnet, Brent Cross, Edgware and "even Ealing Broadway".

As principal Marilyn Hawkins explains: "Everything we do here at Barnet College is geared toward improving the social and economic well-being of our students."

So, not only can the young people of north London and Hertfordshire get clued up on their study options, they can even pick up a reduced price hoodie from Gap at the same time. Bravo.

Car crush

While the Northern Irish education system is renowned for upholding traditional values and discipline, one FE student got more than he bargained for when a leisurely drive through town turned sour.

When Terence Porter was signalled to stop by a police officer, on suspicion of speeding, the student from the North West College of Technology in Londonderry was "panicked", his solicitor told a court. So panicked that the 21-year-old sped off, sparking a chase that led to him colliding with a police car.

The unfortunate tale ended with his car - bought only days earlier - being crushed.

FErret wonders if the threat of having their iPhones crushed if they emerge from under desks mid-lesson might act as a suitable deterrent to students on this side of the Irish Sea as well.

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