* Inmates at eight top-security prisons will get a chance to brush up on numeracy and literacy thanks to a course designed by HM Prison Service in collaboration with Ruskin College.
The preparation for higher education course aims to provide prisoners with skills that will allow them to progress in the education system within and on release from prison. The Prison Service wants to lift prisoners' rates of numeracy and literacy by 15 per cent over three years.
Ruskin itself is having severe difficulties recruiting conventional students. With less than three months to the start of the new academic year, the Oxford-based college is offering students Pounds 30 for everyone they can persuade to enrol on its certificate of higher education courses.