C OMMUNICATIONS man- ager Jeff Hyland, of Londons Westminster Kingsway College, is passionate about voca- tional degrees. He tells James Day theres more to higher education than university. WHAT CAN A FURTHER EDUCATION COLLEGE OFFER? THE main thing is, its an alter- native to university. We offer a number of foundation degrees, which are two-year vocational courses and the equivalent to the first two years of an honours degree. You can study them on a full- or part-time basis, and often on a day- release scheme. They are very much focused on skills needed in the work- place, so a lot of people combine having a job with studying. ISNT THIS SECOND-BEST TO A UNIVERSITY EDUCATION? ITS a substantial qualification and most people who do the foundation degree can progress and do a further year as a top-up, resulting in a full honours degree if they want to. WHAT DOES WESTMINSTER KINGSWAY FOCUS ON? WERE a specialist training provider for hospitality -- Jamie Oliver was taught here -- and our reputation in the industry is excellent. A lot of people dont realise that Jamie stud- ied at a further education college. We 22 Tuesday, 25 August 2009 London Lite Education2009 also offer travel and tourism foundation degrees, and account- ing, business and public admin- istration ones -- which suits students who want to progress head-first into the business world. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A VOCATIONAL ROUTE OVER UNIVERSITY? THE part-time study option is always attractive. A college has smaller class sizes and a more personal feel -- its not like being in a lecture with 200 other students. As a result you forge closer links with lecturers, most of whom have worked in the industry themselves -- at top London hotels, Claridges and Gordon Ramsay, and flourishing smaller businesses in London. We can set up work place- ments and job opportunities, too. HOW DO YOU APPLY? IF STUDENTS are interested in study- ing here they can apply directly to the college. Its a myth that you have to go through clearing -- most of our applicants approach the college them- selves. We can talk them through the details of the course, and they can have a chat with some of the lecturers to see if they feel the course would be the right one for them. Apply online at westking.ac.uk or call 0870 060 9800 Needagoodvocation? tourismandtravelofferalso account-anddegrees,foundation admin-publicandbusinessing, suitswhich--onesistration progresstowantwhostudents world.businesstheintohead-first VICKY is a second-year student at Westminster Kingsway College, studying a foundation degree in hospitality management. Vicky, 21, pictured below, from Kent, says: I researched online and found the college. I liked the smaller environment and the fact that the lecturers had all worked in the industry and were able to pass on their experience. All the students are passionate about learning, whereas at university the focus is often on the social scene. I am working at a London hotel while studying part-time, so its very busy. I have enjoyed learning about finance and management skills, which I have been able to use in my day-to- day job. Vicky is also celebrating success in the Academy Of Culinary Arts Awards Of Excellence, as one of the youngest ever finalists. It was a tough competition, especially as Michel Roux was overseeing everything on the day, she says. I was required to serve lunch for two people and demonstrate my culinary skills, as well as being tested on my wine and menu knowledge. I would like to open my own restaurant one day. WORDSJAMESDAY Pukka choice: Jamie Oliver, inset, studied at Westminster Kingsway College Imbusycookingup apromisingfuture Jamie Olivers CV 1983 Started helping at parents pub, The Cricketers, in Clavering, aged eight 1992 Studied catering at Westminster Kingsway College 1995 Worked with Italian chef Antonio Carluccio at the Neal Street restaurant 1996 Worked his way up the ranks at the River Caf, in Hammersmith 1999 Started filming Naked Chef for the BBC 2002 Founded Fifteen London -- other Fifteens subsequently open in Amsterdam, Cornwall and Melbourne 2008 Launched a number of Jamies Italian restaurants 2009 Currently worth an estimated 40m for example. Students also find they can stay nearer to home, this can help with the costs of higher education. Our fees tend to be less than universities and, if people are studying part-time, they can work and earn money. DOES BIG INDUSTRY RECOGNISE THESE QUALIFICATIONS? ABSOLUTELY, and further education colleges have strong links with employers. We work with names like Highereducation coursescanput youonthepathto successjustask JamieOliver... index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html