Our man in the Gambia

13th August 2004 at 01:00
So successful has Birmingham City college been with students from the Gambia that a member of its international office team, Peter Seazell, has been made an honorary consul to that country.

The five-strong international team, led by Caribbean-born Snowdon Reid, says the college does a lot of consultancy with regions and countries that have large populations in the city such as the Caribbean, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

The office helps the countries to develop curricula, improve teaching and strengthen their infrastructure.

Last year, the colleges recruited some 450 full-time fee-paying students, of whom 382 now remain. They came from Jamaica, the Gambia, Pakistan, India, South Africa, Nigeria, the Congo and Tanzania.

Students are studying vocational courses such as catering and vehicle maintenance, but also higher level HND business, finance and ICT courses.

Students stay with relatives locally or rent shared houses. Fees are pound;3,000 a year.

Unusually for an FE college, there are also two scholarship programmes.

Every second year, it waives the fees of 10 students from Jamaican community colleges and 10 students from the Gambia.

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