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Trip to Taiwan defended;Further education

GOVERNORS at Kingston College have defended a six-week, all- expenses paid trip to Taiwan by the principal and his wife in the face of continued criticism from the Further Education Funding Council.

Governors accused the FEFC of wasting time and public money on "needless" correspondence questioning arrangements for the trip last year, when principal Arthur Cotterell was accompanied by his wife on a student recruitment trip to Taiwan.

Mr Cotterell and his wife, who acted as interpreter, used five- star hotels during the pound;18,600 trip.

The FEFC said that the college should have advertised for an interpreter, and that a shorter visit "might have been more appropriate".

A funding council spokesman said: "It is vital that governing bodies, in taking decisions relating to the use of public funds, consider how their decisions may be interpreted by the public."

Governors are refusing to accept the funding council's conclusions, saying the cost has been justified by the 30 students recruited.

Harvey McGavin

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