FIVE colleges in the South have won the right to recruit students onto higher education courses through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. They will be able to compete with traditional universities for courses starting in autumn 2001. The five are Brockenhurst College, Fareham College, Isle of Wight College, Southampton City College and Totton College.

The move follows a shake-up in UCAS rules which has opened up membership to colleges offering at least one full-time HND or HNC. Previously, they would have had to offer at least one full-time degree course.

Totton principal Mark Bramwell welcomed the inclusion in the UCAS handbook and website, aimed at prospective students across the UK and overseas.

He said: "It means we increase our breadth of provision from students learning to read and write, up to higher education students at the other end of the scale.

"It is also good news for the people of Totton and the Waterside as it brings higher education right to the heart of their community."

The addition of the colleges takes the total number of UCAS institutions to 342.

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