Students see stars over cosmic ordering course
It's the college course that promises to make you more money than an advanced apprenticeship in plumbing and to do more for your love life than a Diploma in pop music. In fact, the six-week cosmic ordering evening course at West Cheshire College promises to help you get whatever you wish.
The New Age philosophy has been popularised by TV presenter Noel Edmonds, who said he used it to help him restart his career with the show Deal or No Deal. The course bases itself on the books of Barbel Mohr, the German self-help author.
The college's website describes what students can expect from the course's tutor, Marie-Claire Carlyle: "Using examples and exercises, she will use cosmic ordering to show you how you can use it, whatever you wish to achieve. The sky really is the limit, so why not come along with your dreams and investigate for yourself?"
Ms Carlyle said: "If I was to sum up what people get out of the course, I would say it is new possibilities for their lives. It is a cross between life coaching, positive thinking and the laws of attraction.
"It teaches people to get a particular mindset, which is a necessary step to finding the right employment. I would say that's more important than teaching people how to do something practical. Ultimately that saves the taxpayer a fortune."
Penny Pallett, a former student, said: "I suppose it was a bit like prayer but without God. I enjoyed it, actually. But then again, I am not two stone lighter and I am not married to George Clooney."
A spokesperson for the college said that it was a self-funded leisure course costing pound;37.60 that did not lead to a qualification and received no public funding.
West Cheshire also runs a course called "Revamp Ya Frock Like Gok", which aims to teach people how to cheaply glamorise everyday clothes.
Among the more colourful courses available to adult learners elsewhere in further education are "How to find the Wolf in your Dog", "Cheerleading" and "Psychic Development".
The Government has been attacked over the past two years for diverting money from publicly funded adult education into work-orientated training. Adult-education campaigners say that some 1.5 million places have been lost as a result.
But following this year's campaign in defence of adult learning coordinated by the Campaigning Alliance for Lifelong Learning, the Government this week kick-started a month-long event aimed at encouraging more informal courses.
Launching the Learning Revolution Festival, Kevin Brennan, further education minister, said: "Informal learning brings proven mental, physical and social benefits. The Learning Revolution Festival is all about highlighting these."