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Further afield

Gateshead pledges pound;1m in drive to minimise EMA pain

Gateshead College has launched a new charity with a pound;1 million grant to provide support for students who will miss out on the education maintenance allowance and others affected by cuts to free provision. The Gateshead College Foundation has been established with an initial pledge from the college reserves, with the promise of an annual contribution of a percentage of its surpluses. The money will provide grants and scholarships, or help pay fees or travel costs. College principal Richard Thorold said: "Education has the power to transform lives, and there is no greater need than now for people to have the chance to develop the skills they need to get jobs, improve their prospects and get our economy moving. The launch of the foundation will remove some of the barriers that stand in their way and will also give those with particular talents the opportunity to thrive."

One in six black students has experienced college racism

A report by the National Union of Students into black students' experience of further and higher education found that one in six had experienced racism in college. The survey of nearly 1,000 black students - defined as those from African, Arab, Asian and Caribbean communities - also found that a third did not trust their institution to handle complaints properly. Eight per cent of respondents said they found the teaching environment "hostile" and many interviewees complained about a Euro- centric curriculum and lack of role models within their colleges and universities. NUS president Aaron Porter said: "We have a long way to go to close the participation gap for black students in education. If black students feel unwelcome in classrooms this must be addressed by tackling the very real racism that still exists on our campuses."

New city campus for students with learning difficulties

The Manchester College has had plans approved for a new centre for students with learning difficulties and complex special needs.

To be run in conjunction with the Bridge College, a specialist FE college for students with complex disabilities and autism, the new campus is planned for a former Rolls-Royce site in the east of Manchester. The campus plans, approved by Manchester City Council, will provide a purpose- built independent specialist college for disabled young people and adults, including a centre of excellence for speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy. It will also feature a hub for the development of social skills and independent living skills, and part of the site will be set aside for horticulture classes.

Fighter Cleverly promotes maths as heavyweight subject

Boxer Nathan Cleverly, crowned WBO light-heavyweight champion last weekend, has become an unlikely champion for numeracy education. A former graduate in maths from Cardiff University - he earned a 2:2 - the 24-year- old has been named a "maths champion" for unionlearn, the TUC's education organisation, which is charged with helping to encourage people with numeracy problems to get back into learning. He said: "The boxer stereotype is someone who is dull and thuggish. I wanted to break that mould. The discipline I learnt by studying has helped me be disciplined as a boxer. The other boxers do find it hard to believe I have a maths degree, because it is seen as such an academic and geeky subject. I hope I can change that image."

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