International politics? That's sooo last season

FErret on the new Conde Nast College of Fashion and Design in London

Congratulations to Vogue publisher Conde Nast's College of Fashion and Design in London, England, which has just welcomed its first students on to its Vogue Fashion Certificate course.

Principal Susie Forbes is clearly not shy of maintaining fashion stereotypes. First, its April opening was fashionably late, with the college having initially intended to open its doors in January. And, in true fashionista style, food is banned from the all-white, minimalist campus - the college says students can go to a nearby cafe.

The private college is also clearly aware of fashion pricing rules: how are you supposed to know if something is good if it isn't expensive? Accordingly, the 10-week Vogue course costs pound;6,600 and a year-long course, which launches in September, will cost pound;24,000 - about as much as Harvard. Three scholarships will be available, though, for students who may be known as Ugly Betties.

One thing that doesn't cost a penny is the crippling sense of being judged by your fellow students, however. "I spent ages thinking about what to wear this morning," one student told the London Evening Standard newspaper. "I ripped my closet apart and half my clothes are still lying on the bed."

Students on the 10-week course will complete three projects and build a digital portfolio, giving them a taste of work as a fashion PR, brand manager or stylist.

Sadly, there seems to be no room in the packed agenda for Vogue to share its other area of expertise: the sharp understanding of foreign affairs that led the magazine to publish a fawning profile of Syria's first lady Asma al-Assad ("A Rose in the Desert") in March 2011, just as her husband started to brutally suppress revolts.

It praised her as "the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies", enthused about her Louboutin tote and noted that the al-Assads' family life was "wildly democratic", shortly before they plunged Syria into a civil war that has led to the loss of 70,000 lives so far.

Meanwhile, "Conde Nast is well placed to enter the field of education, with the considerable authority and expertise vested in the Vogue brand," says Nicholas Coleridge, president of Conde Nast International and managing director of Conde Nast UK.

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