I read for the first time Educating Rita in school, although, ironically, I did not they taught brilliantly. It's the perfect play for college bound students, a place that should encourage freedom of thought but often promotes conformity. Each student should be more Rita.
In Willy Russell's popular play, Liverpool hairdresser Rita enrolls in an English literature course at the Open University. There he meets Professor Frank, middle-aged, middle-class (half everything, actually). Gradually the two of you help each other see life a little differently. But most of all, Rita reminds us how instinctive and exhilarating education can be. That's a lesson worth holding onto. Miriam Gillinson
You may be about to move up to "uni", as absolutely no one called it in the 1980s when this movie is set: in those days it was "college" or "university" in its entirety. Or you may be watching one of your children do it. Either way, you probably need some filmic comfort food on the subject, with a little comic by David Nicholls adapted his own novel for this adaptation directed by Tom Vaughan in 2006. It is a very entertaining game starring James McAvoy as Brian, a guy who goes into a cooler hell at the University of Bristol and dreams of competing in the University Challenge. He hopes to impress a fellow student, Rebecca, played by Rebecca Hall, with whom he has fallen deeply in love. The team captain is a cocky weirdo played by none other than Benedict Cumberbatch, and Mark Gatiss contributes a mysterious personification of the man who hosted the show in those days: Bamber Gascoigne. So put your fingers on the doorbells. Peter Bradshaw