How college lecturers are keeping up by training one another at work

It's not every day that a former student stops you in the street and recites a poem about plant hormones which they learnt 15 years ago. But when your name is Richard Spencer and you have a following in Australia, the USA and Europe, it is perhaps hardly surprising.

Online degrees: A model worth emulating or a plan that risks creating a two-tier system?

David Willetts wants more people to take degrees by distance learning at further education colleges. Lucy Hodges looks at what it could involve

Short business courses - It's amazing how much can happen in three days

Can anything of enduring value be learnt on courses which provide a quick turnaround? Amy McLellan reports

Learn to take control of your career

When you need an edge in the workplace, it's time to take a course, writes Virginia Matthews

From lace-making to mushroom-foraging, Arca has the course for you

Have you always wanted to spin your own wool or carve yourself a country-style stool, immerse yourself in Chopin's works, or master that digital camera you got for Christmas? If so, then there may well be somewhere nearby offering a course that fits the bill.

Creative courses: Programmes that are music to your ears

More than 20 institutions now offer courses from acting to design management

On the Murder Trail: How staff are finding original ways to improve themselves and enhance the way students learn

When students at North Warwickshire and Hinckley College recently turned up for class, they got more than they bargained for – the sight of a severed head (happily, not a real one) in the bushes. As if that wasn't enough drama for one day, they watched in amazement as tutors ran around panicking that the crime-scene investigation team wasn't available. There was only one solution, they said: the students would have to do the investigation themselves. "It wasn't like the recent case of a pretend shooting in a school, where students thought it was real," assures lecturer Paul Barlow. "We set the scene as being fictional from the outset, with things such as film-style music in the background."

What's the best way to ensure young people are taught in safety?

Colleges now have to pay closer attention to protecting students. But problems surround the tighter structures.

Professionalisation will create a win-win scenario

College teaching staff now have to become at least as qualified as schoolteachers.

Alison Wolf: Ministers should stop treating adults as stupid children

British governments are convinced, in the face of overwhelming contradictory evidence, that they can predict the future. You might think they would be disabused by the financial crash, our limping economy, and the yawning gulf between the Treasury's expectations and its confident predictions in times of plenty.

The elite squad: If you like marketing and Manchester, this Masters degree is perfect for you

They live in swish city-centre apartments, have money in their pockets and work for go-ahead companies. They might not sound like postgraduate students but then theirs is no ordinary degree.

Recipe for a great career: How college gave one man the ingredients to succeed in the restaurant business

Restaurateur James Thomson didn't like school. Much of his time was spent looking out of the windows at the old buildings of Edinburgh, fantasising about their history and the people who had lived there. What Thomson did like was working. Aged 12, he became a dishwasher at Crawford's tearooms on North Bridge. "My grandmother had a cashier job there, and they were always short of dishwashers, so I was called in. I loved the theatre of the place – they served morning coffee, lunches and high tea, and had old-fashioned cake stands and waitresses who all mothered me and gave me strawberry tarts to eat. I also helped the chef. I loved things like the smell of the coffee and cheeses, and the whole ambience of the place."

How training can help you develop the skills for survival

The downturn is no time to abandon training. Kate Hilpern argues that it's the point when you need it most
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Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
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By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

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Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

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Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
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A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes