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

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.

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."

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

John Bingham: 'Governors are having more impact and reporting greater job satisfaction than before'

Chair of the Board, The Association of Colleges (AoC)

New chapter: How college are helping to change people's lives

The upcoming Colleges Week will highlight the many benefits that college life offers.

A-Z of Courses: Glass-blowing

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'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
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Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

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A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering