Barnfield College

 

History: Barnfield evolved from specialising in service industries and commerce to become an FE college offering everything from fashion, floristry and furnishings to sports therapy.

Address: Five centres within the town boundaries of Luton, and one in Bedford. Also runs an extensive network of community-based courses.

Ambience: Big, inclusive and high-flying, with a plethora of awards and accolades.

Who's the boss? Pete Birkett, principal and chief executive.

Prospectus: 01582 569 500, or check out the prospectus here.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Easy to get into? Yes. Little or no qualifications are needed for basic level entry. An advice and guidance system matches applicants with the appropriate course.

Foundation Degrees: 15 options available, including specialist make-up design, complimentary therapy, web development, construction management and craft design.

Vital statistics: The largest college in Luton and Bedfordshire, with 28,000 students. Runs an expanding range of higher education programmes (many validated by the University of Bedfordshire). Also a major operator of apprenticeships through Barnfield Training Services.

Added value: A Beacon College with six Centres of Vocational Excellence: Motor vehicle engineering; computer integrated network systems; health and social care skills; house building for the future; supervisory and management skills and aviation operation. The first college in the country to receive ministerial support to create two 11-18 school academies. A university technology college opened in 2013.

Teaching: Quality of provision was rated as 'Outstanding' at the most recent Ofsted appraisal.

Any accommodation? Yes. Halls are made available to all first year foundation degree students in partnership with University of Bedfordshire. Rooms start at £87 per week.

Cheap to live there? Rents are above average. Private rents are around £80 per week in both Luton and Bedford.

Transport links: All centres have access to public transport, and Thameslink trains run from Luton to central London four times an hour.

Fees: Further education courses vary in price. Higher Education courses cost £6,000 per annum.

Bursaries: Those in work may attract sponsorship from employers. Prospective students are advised to contact the college for information on funding.

THE FUN STUFF

Nightlife: Lots of clubs and pubs in Luton, and neighbouring towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes. London is near enough for clubbers to catch the early morning train back.

News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn