College to pay as you learn

August 1, 1997

Rather than saddling its students with debt, a Yorkshire college has decided it will not only waive course fees but also pay students to study.

The bold move by Rotherham College comes in the wake of the Government's decision to axe student grants and introduce means-tested fees for students in higher education. College principal John Rockett said students would receive Pounds 50 for satisfactorily completing a one-year course and Pounds 100 for two-year programmes.

Already the news has spread, and at an enrolment day last week one higher-level course doubled its usual student intake.

"This cashback offer can make the difference, particularly for the unemployed, between staying at college or quitting in the dark days of February," Mr Rockett said. "It is a financial commitment which we can easily pay for by the increase in completion and achievement rates of our students."

Rotherham suffers from unemployment of 11.4 per cent and Mr Rockett is confident of a ready market for his courses. He is convinced that financial hardship is the prime reason for low participation and completion rates in the region.

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