16th March 2012 at 00:00

Women, eh? There's no pleasing them

How did you celebrate International Women's Day? Perhaps by saying, "Why isn't there an international men's day?" (There is, it's in November.)

However you did it, you can't have done a more spectacular job than Angus College in Scotland. The college was planning to mark the day by giving female staff a red rose, because "all women like a bit of romance". But lecturer - and suspected joyless feminist - Cherry Hopton objected, as if introducing patronising sexist stereotypes somehow demeaned an event celebrating more than a century of political activism that brought women the right to work, vote and hold public office.

Her union reports that when she refused to attend a meeting to discuss her objections with HR unless she had prior notice and a union representative, she was suspended. Some might argue that it looks bad to send a female member of staff home for International Women's Day. But FErret suggests that the college argues that it was merely taking a first step in making the day a national holiday.

Stop that racket

Sri Lankan students arriving to study at Blackburn College got an unwelcome surprise when they were told they had to pay #163;3,000 in fees. The problem was, they had already paid.

It emerged that an "intermediary" had promised to set them up on the one-year course, only to pocket the fee himself. Charitably, the college honoured their places despite the disappearance of their fees. It has also changed its policies so all fees are paid directly to the college rather than through middle men, and has produced a list of vetted agents to prevent anyone else from being ripped off.

Still, it's surprising to learn that police concluded there had been no criminal offence, saying that the students would have to sue for their money back in the civil courts. That sounds like a green light for scammers. In other, unrelated news, why not sign up for a UK college course with FErret Education Ltd for the low, low price of #163;3,000?

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