Dell XPS 15 Notebook (i5-2410M & GT 540M) review
Probably not the CPU you'd choose but the chassis and feature set would be the same in this review as a $1160 i7-2630QM 8GB RAM, 640GB 7200rpm HDD and 15.6" 1920x1080 w/ GT 540M graphics. This should meet all your educational requirements and allow for gaming at the Med/High graphics range in most games.
@ $1360 the Dell XPS 17" with i7-2630QM 8GB RAM, 640GB 7200rpm HDD and 17.3" 1920x1080 w/ GT 555M graphics. NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M reviewNVIDIA GeForce GT 555M reviewNVIDIA GeForce GTX 460M review
If you look at the vertical column of graphics cards listed at the right of the review you'll see an approximate ranking of performance with other graphics cards. GTX 460M & GT 555M are in Class1 and GT 540M in Class 2.