25th March 2011 at 00:00

Toucan flies solo

The tragic consequences of the collapse of the college capital funding programme are still being felt, as a hard-hitting report from the Lynn News in Norfolk reveals.

"Is this the loneliest Toucan in Britain?" the paper asks - referring not to a Guinness-drinking avian but to an unloved pedestrian crossing that can also accommodate bikes.

Norfolk County Council built the crossing in the expectation that it would serve a new campus for the College of West Anglia. Instead, like the statue of Ozymandias, around it the lone and level sands stretch far away, mocking the hubris of mortal men.

While it will never throng with happy students, the county council hopes that it will come into use with the construction of a housing development later this year.

"Until then, this Toucan will continue its lonely vigil," reporter Hannah Allen concludes.

Keeping up with Jones

After sneering at college beauty therapy students the other week, the Daily Mail's Liz Jones weighs in on education again to, er, denounce "intellectual snobs".

Unencumbered by any sense of consistency or logic, she criticises the likes of Professor Brian Cox for being interested in space and Andrew Marr for pronouncing words correctly. Terribly snobbish of them, quite unlike condescending the "straight-out-of-technical-college types at provincial spas".

Alas, she also reveals the reason for her intellectual insecurity. "Having been educated at Southend Technical College, I never heard difficult words spoken, and only consumed them in books," she writes. In an earlier column, she denounced the college as a "run-down dump". Back in the real world, South Essex College (as it is now called) is rated good, has a new campus, and hasn't done anything to deserve this. Except for producing Liz Jones.

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