“Unprecedented” demand for places at College of West Anglia

AN “unprecedented” demand for college places means students could miss out on their dream course.

The College of West Anglia has already received a record 5,500 applications for September 2010 - a 15 per cent increase on last year.

Sport, uniformed services, creative arts, equine and animal care courses are the most popular subjects but principal David Pomfret warned: “Some courses are already over-subscribed and others are heading that way.”

He added: “I would urge students to ensure their applications are in as early as possible because of the huge demand for spaces.”

Other colleges and universities in the country have had to turn students away because of huge numbers of applications.

However people awaiting their GCSE or A-level results can still apply for courses at the Isle and Wisbech campuses for 2010/2011.

Mr Pomfret said: “We are delighted so many students see us as their first port of call for study.

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“It can only be good news for the local economy that the College of West Anglia will be producing well-qualified and trained young people for the coming years.”

The college also expects to take on more apprentices and increase the 900 it had last year.

Director of employer engagement Mark Reavell said: “Identifying and creating opportunities is of the highest priority for us. The college works with a wide range of employers to find places for our apprentices.”

He warned an apprenticeship is “not an easy option for students” but said: “The rewards can be tremendous.”

Earlier this year the College of West Anglia announced it needs to cut 43.5 posts to deal with financial challenges including a �750,000 budget deficit.

A total of 11.3 teaching positions are due to disappear along with jobs in business and support services but 21 new posts are set to be created across the college’s campuses.

Despite the rise in students applications, the college expects Government funding for further education to fall in the next few years.

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