8th July 2011 at 01:00

Crime against design

One student from north London has gone to extraordinary lengths to avoid doing his coursework.

Satyam Malhotra, 21, from Kingsbury, was given a nine-month suspended sentence and 150 hours community service at Southwark Crown Court for his part in a credit card scam involving pound;100,000 and 600 cloned cards.

According to Detective Constable Kevin Chandler, from the British Transport Police's crime unit, he used the false details to pay a graphic design company to do his coursework for a college degree.

FErret wonders how this would have played out had his scheme gone undetected. Would he have got a job in graphic design and sub-contracted all his work using dodgy credit cards? At some point, you'd think it would be easier just to live on the proceeds of the fraudulent cards directly and cut out the graphic design intermediary.

Still, one more thing for FE lecturers to look out for, although the way to spot a plagiarist will more than likely remain the same: suspiciously good work.

Win some, lose some

Congratulations to Sheffield Forgemasters, who won best large employer at the Apprenticeship Awards. The name may be familiar from the Coalition's first political storm: an pound;80 million loan was withdrawn from the company that it had hoped to use to buy equipment to manufacture parts for the nuclear industry. Its location in deputy prime minister Nick Clegg's Sheffield backyard added spice to the row.

The awards' judges are no doubt impossible to influence, or else one would have to suspect this was a characteristically generous consolation prize for the tough-negotiating Lib Dems, the party which gave up on tuition fees to secure a referendum on voting reform. That it lost.

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