Keeping distance learning afloat

I read with interest your article "Junior explorer to study from his cabin" (FE Focus, October 10), regarding the student Michael Perham.

The Marine Society College of the Sea is the only Learning and Skills Council-funded institution that delivers its services entirely by distance learning. Our learners are British professional seafarers who serve with the Royal Navy andor Merchant Navy.

Formally inaugurated as a college in 1938, we trace our origin to the Seafarers Education Service, established by Workers' Educational Association founder Albert Mansbridge in 1919. We remain, in effect, a WEA for British seafarers.

In terms of experience, therefore, we are second only to the University of London external system in delivering provision entirely by distance learning to a learner cohort spread throughout the world.

Brian Thomas Principal, The Marine Society College of the Sea, London SE1.

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