Branded a nuisance

7th December 2007 at 00:00

To the all-important world of branding. I see the image-conscious Association of Colleges' plan to rename itself Colleges England has been quietly trundled into the sidings.

Apparently, Gordon Brown has a problem with organisations using the word "England" in the title and the AoC wants to avoid getting up the nose of Government - which, to its credit, has never been a problem for the organisation in the past.

The 157 Group of large and perfectly formed colleges, until recently favoured by ministers, is named after a paragraph in the Foster review of FE.

But the AoC should stick to its guns. In the long run, being approved of by ministers and named after a piece of bureaucracy are two thing best avoided.

Or, if the AoC really wants to get the attention of ministers, I have one new title that might just work - the Association of Universities.

A qualification too far

I'm pleased to say I've never been accused of being "over-qualified for the job" - although it must be a terribly frustrating situation in which to find oneself. All that hard work gaining certificates, only to be dismissed for being too clever.

My sympathies must therefore go to the chief inspector at the British Accreditation Council, which works with independent further and higher education institutions.

His name is Gerald Vinten.

Or, should I say, Professor Gerald Vinten BA, BPhil, MA, MSc, PhD, PGCE, FHEA, DPA, FRSH, MAPHA, Hon FIIIA, FRSA, FloD, FRGS, CPFA. Still, it doesn't seem to have hindered him too much.

Image is everything

You may have read this week that local government spends pound;450 million a year on meeting its obligation to tell the public what services it offers - which shouldn't take long in the case of my local council.

But lecturers who fear FE isn't getting its fair share of publicity can rest assured. The other morning, I took no fewer than six unsolicited phone calls by 10.30am from silky-smooth PRs whose services are paid for by national FE bodies.

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