Apple UK has launched iStudent, a "flexible" rental programme for students at participating colleges to deliver access to Macs on a student budget.

The scheme offers students (at participating colleges) a full package of benefits. They can choose to lease either an iBook or PowerBook for a one, two or three year period. Once the rental term ends, students can purchase the Mac for just £50.

Insurance against repairs, replacement, damage and theft is also included, and this is valid worldwide. Up to three years on the AppleCare Protection Plan is standard with the deal, and students can choose to add an AirPort card to the mix.

In an example, Apple explains that leasing a 12.1-inch iBook CD-RW, with AppleCare Protection and insurance would cost £7.58 per week.

Students wanting to take advantage of the programme need to persuade their college to sign up for the plan. Institutions develop their own implementation of the plan with assistance from Apple.