APPLICATIONS for Blackburn College’s further and higher education have increased.

So far the University Centre has seen its applications more than double from 441 last year to 922 this year.

And applications for further education courses have increased by 11 per cent from 2,627 applications to date, compared to 2,359 last year.

Despite the increase there are still places available on further education courses and comes as Blackburn College was awarded funding for 299 extra places from September.

Yana Williams, vice-principal for quality and development, said: “With the lack of jobs and increased competition in the world of work, higher education can provide the guidance, advice and experience needed to re-enter the employment mark-eting on a higher level.

“This and the fact that we are a high-class institution offering a wide range of courses on their doorstep are the two main reasons for this leap in applications. Students studying with us can start at Entry Level and work their way through to a degree at University Centre.”

The Higher Education Funding Council for England confirmed there will be 6,000 fewer places for full-time undergraduates nationally, meaning that thousands of students face rejection from Universities.

But Blackburn College, which said it could not confirm the total number of places available, is not facing any cuts.

Vice-principle Williams added: “This cap on University places is another reason why so many students are returning to education and it’s inevitable that many students will potentially miss out on getting a place.”

“With an increase in applications to all our courses we are encouraging students not to leave it too late. There are only a certain number of places available and these are filling up quickly.”

“This extra funding means that we can not only offer more full-time places but we can offer there new Foundation Degrees in Computing as well as new Foundation Degrees in Community Policing and Justice Management and in Advanced Flexible Materials. We can also use the money to further improve our facilities with new PCs and resources in the library.”