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Huge demand for college places

PUBLISHED: 10:45 05 August 2010 | UPDATED: 11:55 16 September 2010

The region's colleges are reporting a huge demand for places, with record numbers of applications from young people. Thousands of youngsters are set to be disappointed when the new academic year begins at City College Norwich next month, because some courses will be full.

The region's colleges are reporting a huge demand for places, with record numbers of applications from young people. Thousands of youngsters are set to be disappointed when the new academic year begins at City College Norwich next month, because some courses will be full.

Some 7,500 people have applied for 3,500 places for 16 to 19-year-olds, while the college has received 3,500 applications for 1,700 post-19 places and almost 1,200 for 680 places in higher education. Other colleges around Norfolk and Suffolk have also received higher-than-average applications for their courses for the coming academic year.

Norwich City College principal Dick Palmer said that the surge in popularity comes at a time when the campus has had to slash millions of pounds from its budget.

He said: “I am delighted that record numbers of people are applying to come to City College Norwich to improve their skills and gain new qualifications. In recent years we have constantly been over-subscribed in some areas of the college. Although we have had record numbers of applications this year, not all courses are full yet. We are still accepting application forms and I would urge all those who have applied not to panic.”

Mr Palmer said the college faced “testing times”, but pledged no courses would be cut, with the axe falling on senior management posts instead.

Record numbers have also been applying for places at the College of West Anglia, in King's Lynn, which was recently forced to abandon plans for new campuses at King's Lynn and March. Principal David Pomfret said: “I would urge students to ensure that their applications are in as soon as possible because of the huge demand for places. Some courses are already over-subscribed and others are also heading that way.”

Tom Toolan, assistant principal in economic and business development at Lowestoft College, said it was experiencing higher than normal applications for courses in the 18 to 19-year-old age range. He said: “Applications from students who are 19 plus, for subsidised courses, are also higher and with limited places still available on some courses.”

Mark Bayley, head of sales and marketing at Great Yarmouth College, said that applications for further education courses are up on last year by 22pc and to UCS Great Yarmouth for higher education courses by 23pc.

A spokesman for University Campus Suffolk (UCS) said it has been supported by the government as a growing higher education institution and been awarded around 300 additional student places for those starting this September, meaning there are still places available on full time and part time courses and UCS will also be accepting applicants through the Clearing process.

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