A-Z of Higher Education Colleges: Bishop Grosseteste College, Lincoln

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The Independent Online
Age: 136.

History: Founded by the C of E as a diocesan training school. Used to be known as Lincoln Training College until it changed its name in 1962 to the unpronounceable Bishop Grosseteste. He was Bishop of Lincoln in the 13th century and oversaw the building of Lincoln Cathedral.

Address: Single campus in historic city of Lincoln.

Ambience: Though known locally as Bishop Grot, it's far from grotty. Built on a hill above the city centre, it has a Victorian redbrick main building with tiled floors and 19th-century nooks and crannies plus a beautiful Victorian chapel still in daily use. Additional buildings put up in since 1949 harmonise uneasily. But the 21-acre grounds and scampering squirrels are a joy, as is the Gothic cathedral 10 minutes' walk away. Halls of residence on site.

Vital statistics: Mainly a teacher-training college but also offers degree courses in drama in the community, heritage studies and English literature. Degrees validated by University of Hull. It is small - only 790 students, the vast majority female. (There are 112 men, or 14 per cent.) Church origins are evident. There is an enduring connection to the studies and ethos of the Christian Union.

Added value: Teaching is of the practical rather than ivory tower variety and there are strong links with primary schools in Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

Easy to get into? For teacher-training you need a grade C or above at GCSE in English, maths, science and two other subjects. Plus you need two Cs at A level. For other degrees you need a C and a D, or two Ds at A-level.

Glittering alumni: John Lowrey, headteacher, Metheringham County primary school; Colin Brimblecombe, actor, Lincoln Shakespeare Company; David Pugh, theatre producer.

Transport links: Trains to London via Newark take two hours, those to Nottingham take one hour. Try driving, though take note that there are no motorways in Lincolnshire. Biking is a good alternative. Apart from the hill down into the city, the whole county is pretty flat.

Buzz-phrase: Take me to the grot (what you say to the taxi driver to get to Bishop Grosseteste).

Who's the boss? Eileen Baker, formerly Her Majesty's Inspector and an expert on primary education.

Teaching: In a sweep of primary teacher training institutions by Ofsted (February 1995 to July 1996), the college did well, receiving top grade in three out of the four aspects looked at. In a follow-up Ofsted investigation into primary teacher training (reading and number) last year it did pretty well, too.

Research: No research base.

Financial health: In the black.

Night-life: Quiet. Lincoln has only just realised that students exist because the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside has established a campus here. A few theme pubs have sprung up. The students' union at Bishop Grosseteste holds film nights and other entertainments and a theatre group comes in to perform in the bar. Those in search of the bright lights can catch a bus to Nottingham or Derby for the night-clubs.

Cheap to live in? pounds 65 a week buys you a room in college with food. Private rents average pounds 35 a week.