The world's your oyster: College students are being given the opportunity to live and work abroad

By his own admission, Dan Buckland, 21, was a trying student when he arrived at London Leisure College. He'd had a bad experience of school and although he was looking forward to training to be a rugby coach at the college – which works in partnership with other London colleges including Greenwich Community College – his confidence was low. Little did he realise that a three-week trip to Zambia with the college, in which the students coached Zambian schoolchildren, would turn his life around.

John Bingham: It's time to recognise the value of sixth-form colleges - and create more of them

Sixth-Form Colleges are a better choice than school sixth- forms for many of our young people – yet there appears to be no proactive Government policy to propel the creation of sixth-form colleges where the need is greatest. There are pockets of the country where these institutions abound, but equally in some regions they are very thinly spread.

Enterprising minds: Surge of interest in courses for budding entrepreneurs

With the repercussions of the global credit crunch no longer confined to the Square Mile and ordinary households tightening the purse strings amid fears for their jobs and pensions, it may seem perverse to call this a time of opportunity. Yet a period of upheaval can also be a time of renewal, with new business ideas arising from the ashes of the old.

A-Z of courses: Farriery

Radio Ga Ga: Students air their views on the airwaves

When Sheffield City College decided to trial its own radio station earlier this year, it quickly became a magnet for students. "To think that I was worried about how I'd come up with a regular supply of current shows," laughs Matt Hine, digital media lecturer. "From the start, students at all levels and of all ages were requesting to come in and record shows at lunchtimes and after classes. Many of these students would previously be off just as soon as class was over."

Art colleges lose research cash as ministers opt to protect science

Some of London's top art colleges are seething about cuts that mean that the University of the Arts London is losing £3m and the Royal College of Art £500,000 of research money next year. The cuts have come as a shock because the colleges actually did better in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), but this improvement was not reflected in cash.

English sixth-form college league tables

Grouped by Local Education Authority

New year, new you: Upgrade your life with a short course

What will it be – an ancient form of combat or knitting for beginners? Caitlin Davies provides inspiration for learning new talents in 2009

New Year, New You: Put your green fingers to work

If your life needs enhancing, there are plenty of courses for you

Eyes on the prize: Specialist officers are giving students a better experience of sport

When Kevin Hamblin took over as principal of Filton College in Bristol, only 14 students took part in any timetabled sporting activities and just one sports coach was employed on a part-time basis. "Those 14 did football on a Wednesday afternoon and there wasn't even a goalkeeper among them," says Hamblin.

From bad to verse: South London students are fighting violent crime with their own performing arts scheme

Fear of gun and knife crime stalks communities in our inner cities. Although official statistics show that it is still relatively rare, with knives used in 6 per cent of violent crimes and firearms in just 1 per cent, the headlines talk of a barrage of youth-on-youth knife and firearm attacks amid an increasingly violent and lawless street culture. For those communities devastated by these senseless slayings, it doesn't matter what the headlines and statistics say: they need action to counter the downward spiral of fear and hopelessness that begets only more violence and vengeance on our streets.

Bright future: How Britain's colleges are unlocking young talent

Colleges in England and Wales are doing life-changing work, unlocking talent in people of all ages.

A-Z Of Courses: Early-years education

Apprentices are victims of the credit crunch

As the crisis deepens, students are dropping out of courses and building firms are taking on fewer apprentices.

Martin Doel: 'Fifty colleges will be raising money for Children in Need '

It is a common refrain among education professionals that the contribution of colleges to our economic and social welfare is often overlooked, but the first Colleges Week – from 10-16 November – will swing the spotlight in their direction.

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