A college in Dover has a surprise for this term’s students; they’re each eligible to get one of 250 iPod nanos purchased by the school.

South Kent College hopes that the music players will encourage students to listen to podcasts of lectures, rather than just the latest hip hop tracks.

Not everyone will receive one. Only those who complete all assignments and have full attendance will get one, even though one would think the most diligent and studious students would be the ones who need the help of recorded lectures the least.

The Campaign for Real Education reacted to the idea with doubts, and called it “a scandalous waste of tax payers’ money”.

However, assistant principal Josh Coleman said that the devices had been paid for with “savings made on a building project”.

The first lectures to be recorded and turned into podcasts are likely to be those on IT, motor vehicle engineering, and childcare.

Coleman did not think that attendance at lectures would fall because of the availability of podcasts online.

A similar scheme has been tested successfully at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville in the US.