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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Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment