Education: A-Z of Higher Education Colleges - Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College

Age: 105.

History: Traces origins to 1893 when School of Science and Art was set up in High Wycombe to support furniture design and manufacture. Has been an art and technology college and a further education college. In 1975 merged with Newland Park College of Education to form Buckinghamshire College of Higher Education. Granted the right by Privy Council to award its own taught degrees in 1994. Is now applying to change its name to university college.

Address: Three campuses, one in High Wycombe, another just outside (Wellesbourne) and the third near Chalfont St Giles nine miles away, where Milton wrote Paradise Lost.

Ambience: High Wycombe is a market town, not a big place and not particularly student-oriented. But it's 35 minutes from London and set in pretty, prosperous countryside. The Newland Park site near Chalfont St Giles is in an 18th- century mansion surrounded by 200 acres of woods and farmland. Bliss for those not keen on bright lights. Partygoers can get home via free minibuses from the main High Wycombe site.

Vital statistics: 10,000 full- and part-time students. Would like to be a university one day. Has applied to Quality Assurance Agency for right to award research degrees. Runs undergraduate and postgraduate courses in applied social sciences and humanities, business, design, health studies, leisure and tourism and technology. Postgraduate degrees are validated by Brunel University.

Added value: Big on furniture design and manufacture. Runs courses from apprentice to PhD level. Offers course in music industry management, only one of its kind in UK

Easy to get into? For degree courses you need two A-level passes, Advanced GNVQ - Merit level or Advanced National Diploma at Merit level. For HND you need one A-level, Advanced GNVQ at pass level, or Advanced National Diploma at pass level.

Glittering alumni: Zandra Rhodes, fashion designer; Robin Day and Fred Scott, furniture designers; Joel Garner, cricketer.

Transport links: Local buses to High Wycombe. London within reach by train or car.

Financial health: Says it's in the black.

Teaching: Rated 16 out of 24 in sociology; 18 in communication and media; 20 in agriculture and forest products.

Research: Did rather well in the 1996 research assessment exercise, and was placed above 30 new universities.

Who's the boss? Professor Bryan Mogford, economist, into partnerships with Continental universities - and fly-fishing.

Night-life: Centres mainly on students' union. Live music two nights a week. Robbie Williams played the May ball.

Cheap to live in? A room in self-catering hall, pounds 55.50 a week; private rents, pounds 45-pounds 55 plus bills.

Buzz-word: Zink (happy).

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