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University News

Scotland pledges funding deal to keep universities level with England
Cabinet backs HE taskforce in return for economically 'aligned' activity, writes Olga Wojtas. Times Higher
[20th November 2008]

Sir Alan Langlands appointed Chief Executive of HEFCE
Sir Alan Langlands, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dundee, has been appointed Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England. He takes up the post on 1 April 2009, succeeding Professor David Eastwood. Throughout his time at Dundee, Sir Alan has shown an absolute commitment to excellence in education, research and knowledge transfer, and the university has made an enormous contribution to the economic and social development of the city and the wider community in Scotland. HEFCE
[20th November 2008]

Lower interest from abroad would push seven into red
Seven universities would fall into the red if there is even a modest decline in their overseas student income, according to a report that highlights the UK's vulnerability during current "volatile global market conditions". Times Higher
[20th November 2008]

Diplomas 'need overhaul to succeed'
Colleges should have more leeway to teach diplomas and more work needs to be done on the content, says college association head. The Guardian
[18th November 2008]

Changing course
The higher education sector has set out its vision for the next decade, and the proposals are radical. The Guardian
[18th November 2008]

High expectations
Can David Lammy, the new universities minister, be the spur to widening participation many hope he will be? The Guardian
[18th November 2008]

Universities set for major change
Universities face major changes, from scrapping the traditional academic year to throwing out the current degree grading system, senior academics say. BBC News
[13th November 2008]

Newcastle expels overseas students with fake grades
Universities were warned to be vigilant against fraudulent applications today as it emerged one leading institution was forced to kick out 50 overseas students after an investigation. The Guardian
[13th November 2008]

Grants fiasco 'will stall student participation'
The government's approach to university expansion is like "trying to drive a car with the accelerator and brake both pressed to the floor", the Tory universities secretary will say toda. The Guardian
[13th November 2008]

Degrees should be 'pick and mix'
Report into higher education calls for flexibility and fair treatment of part-time students. The Guardian
[13th November 2008]

Leftwing lecturers do not churn out student radicals
New studies show academics do not influence their students' politics. The Guardian
[12th November 2008]

UK universities should take online lead
Calls for revival of e-learning to secure future of higher education. The Guardian
[12th November 2008]

Student cash shortfall: 'Ministers knew all along'
Tories accuse government of playing 'cruel trick' and say 80,000 students a year will be affected. The Guardian
[12th November 2008]

Leading UK universities back Qatar robotic research
Imperial College London and Oxford University have been lured to the Middle East to help Qatar become the region's education and research hub. The Guardian
[11th November 2008]

Universities face degree revolution
Traditional university degrees may be radically overhauled, with thousands more students studying part-time, employers funding degrees and universities forced to reveal what benefit they actually give to students. The Guardian
[11th November 2008]

Academics balk at 'spying' on students to nail migrant scams
Universities are being asked to set up surveillance units to monitor the movements of international students in a government-led crackdown on bogus student immigration scams, academics say. The Guardian
[11th November 2008]

Academics argue for record 8% pay rise
Members of the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) want to see an 8%, or inflation (retail price index) plus 5% pay rise for academics next year. The Guardian
[11th November 2008]

Cambridge Pre-U examined
Is the new Cambridge Pre-U a useful qualification in state schools, or is it merely elitist? The Guardian
[11th November 2008]

Universities reject more scrutiny
Universities have defended the effectiveness of self-regulation in maintaining standards - rejecting any need for further external scrutiny. BBC News
[10th November 2008]

Parents want children to get higher education they missed
Most parents who did not go to university after leaving school regret the decision later in life, a government survey shows. The Guardian
[10th November 2008]

Ministers mull how universities could rescue economy
Government 'in market for ideas' on how higher education could respond to rising unemployment and economic decline. The Guardian
[10th November 2008]

Students protest over finances
University students across England are staging local protests against the top-up fee system of student finance. BBC News
[5th November 2008]

MPs to hold universities inquiry
MPs are to investigate some of the most controversial issues surrounding students and universities in the UK. BBC News
[4th November 2008]

Downturn causes students unease over degree choice
One in 12 final-year university students regrets their degree choice now that recession looks likely, a poll has revealed. The Guardian
[4th November 2008]

Licenses to clampdown on fake overseas students
Under new visa arrangements to deter bogus students, from March next year universities and colleges will need licences to teach overseas students, the government announced today. The Guardian
[30th October 2008]

Durham forced to reinstate academic whistleblower
Durham University has been forced to reinstate an academic whistleblower at the centre of a plagiarism row, in a legal ruling that has implications for all UK universities. The Guardian
[30th October 2008]

Grants for middle-income students cut
Ministers have been forced to cut grants for students from middle-income homes and scale back plans to expand student numbers after a government blunder left a £200m black hole in the universities budget. Some 40,000 fewer students will be eligible for partial grants and there will be 5,000 fewer places than expected next year after the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills underestimated a hike in demand. The Guardian
[30th October 2008]

Student complaints rising by 10% a year
Student complaints are rising at around 10% per year, the higher education watchdog said today. The Guardian
[30th October 2008]

Research league tables abandoned
Research league tables abandoned just six weeks before the results of the Research Assessment Exercise. The Guardian
[30th October 2008]

Medical degrees attract male applicants
More men have applied for medical and veterinary degrees at UK universities this year, which may help counteract the dominance of women in these subjects. The Guardian
[29th October 2008]

More students should study abroad, says Lammy
More must be done to encourage England's university students to spend time studying abroad, the higher education minister said today. The Guardian
[29th October 2008]

More students apply to Oxford and Cambridge
30,000 students competing to win places after efforts to demystify entry process. The Guardian
[28th October 2008]

'Elitism' row student graduates
A former comprehensive school pupil, who was the focus of a row over elitism after Oxford University rejected her, has graduated from Cambridge. BBC News
[27th October 2008]

Student grants at risk after botched costing
The government is considering cutting student grants and freezing the number of university places after it drastically miscalculated increases in the bill for higher education, the Guardian has learned. The Guardian
[27th October 2008]

Education system must tackle disadvantage, says Lammy
There are still too many inequalities in the education system which prevent children from disadvantaged backgrounds from applying to study for a degree, according to the universities minister, David Lammy.
[27th October 2008]

Dons fear degrees are dumbed down
Most academics feel under increasing pressure to award undergraduates higher than deserved grades, a poll suggests. BBC News
[23rd October 2008]

Staff denied full pay rise at two institutions
Two universities have confirmed that they will not pay their staff this month's 5 per cent national pay rise. Times Higher Education
[23rd October 2008]

Part-time study vital to UK's future economic success, review says
Radical changes to part-time higher education are needed if the UK is to take a lead role in the knowledge economy, according to a vice-chancellor writing a government review. Times Higher Education
[23rd October 2008]

HEFCE moots linking cash to employability
Universities could be funded according to their ability to produce employable graduates, as the Government seeks to measure their success in "up-skilling the workforce". Times Higher Education
[23rd October 2008]

Forum lays down proposals in bid to improve student life
Universities should publish the contact hours and assessment styles students can expect on their courses, as well as charts showing how their fees are spent, according to proposals drawn up by a new national student body. Times Higher Education
[23rd October 2008]

Maths and science 'end decline'
A £350m "rescue plan" to stop a decline in degree subjects including maths and science is succeeding, says the Higher Education Funding Council for England. BBC News
[21st October 2008]

Universities try new grading plan
Universities are to try out a more detailed way of recording student achievement - which aims to supplement the current grading system. BBC News
[21st October 2008]

Trainee teachers struggling with basic maths, say Lib Dems
Increasing numbers of trainee teachers are having to re-sit basic maths tests, the Liberal Democrats claimed today. The Guardian
[21st October 2008]

NUS warns student results will suffer with credit crunch
Students' results are likely to fall as the credit crunch forces more of them to work to fund their living costs, the National Union of Students warned today. The Guardian
[21st October 2008]

Forces gather against Labour on adult learning
Minister promises consultation with critics over loss of publicly funded informal education places. The Guardian
[21st October 2008]

Credit crunch talk tops iTunes
An Oxford University economics lecture about the credit crunch is at the top of a global iTunes chart for education. BBC News
[17th October 2008]

Government U-turn on overseas scholarships
The Government has been forced into a U-turn after protests over its decision to scrap a major plank of its Commonwealth Scholarship scheme. Times Higher Education
[16th October 2008]

5% pay rise takes some salaries up by a quarter in three years
5% pay rise takes some salaries up by a quarter in three years. Times Higher Education
[16th October 2008]

Go private, London Met boss tells Oxbridge
Oxford and Cambridge universities should go private because government money is better spent on universities "that transform people's lives" rather than on "finishing schools" for the privileged. Times Higher Education
[16th October 2008]

QAA finds fault with Buckingham
It may have the most satisfied students in the UK and boast a former chief inspector of schools and a string of high-profile education experts among its staff, but the University of Buckingham has fallen foul of the higher education quality watchdog. Times Higher Education
[16th October 2008]

University buys £400k body parts
Medical students are to study anatomy using preserved body parts bought for £400,000 from the controversial professor Gunther von Hagens. BBC News
[15th October 2008]

Strong rise in UK undergraduates
There was a 9.7% rise in the number of full-time undergraduates starting UK higher education courses this year. BBC News
[15th October 2008]

Cambridge could lose £11m invested in Icelandic banks
Twelve universities have a total of £77m in the collapsed bank. The Guardian
[15th October 2008]

Government defends its progress on diplomas
Only 12,000 pupils started the government's flagship diploma qualification this September, the schools secretary, Ed Balls, confirmed today, as he promised young people more of a say in the new courses. The Guardian
[15th October 2008]

More universities will have to merge, says Lammy
David Lammy, the new higher education minister, tells UUK conference that more partnerships are needed to maintain diversity and quality. The Guardian
[14th October 2008]

Universities face million-pound losses

Funding council in urgent mission to establish just how many had investments in failed Icelandic banks. The Guardian

[13th October 2008]

Celebrities offer tips on how to be a good chancellor
Universities UK publishes guide to help new chancellors, such as Sir Michael Parkinson, get to grips with the previously undefined role. The Guardian
[10th October 2008]

US and UK universities 'dominant'
Universities in the USA and the UK continue to dominate an annual table ranking the world's top higher education institutions.
[9th October 2008]

Rise in joint degrees that leap international borders but still hurdles to face
Joint degree programmes offered by universities across international borders have enjoyed an "explosion" in popularity - but they face "vexing questions about accreditation, recognition and legitimacy", a new report warns. Times Higher Education
[9th October 2008]

Lammy steps up to HE as Rammell is moved sideways
David Lammy is the new Minister for Higher Education at the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, following Prime Minister Gordon Brown's reshuffle. Times Higher Education
[9th October 2008]

Universities 'should vary offers'
Universities have been given the green light to vary the A-level grades expected from applicants depending on the schools they attend. BBC News
[6th October 2008]

Schools to be rated on number of pupils at top universities
Schools in England are to be rated on the proportion of their pupils who attend top universities, in a move designed to increase pressure on secondaries to reduce their drop-out rate at 16 and promote university to students in disadvantaged areas. The Guardian
[6th October 2008]

Lecturers fear anti-terror laws
Fear among academics that their teaching and research risks falling foul of anti-terror laws is leading some to include disclaimers in their course materials, according to a senior member of the Higher Education Academy. Times Higher Education
[6th October 2008]

One year masters proves tricky for Bologna
Britain's one-year masters is proving a sticking point in the Bologna Process, but the equivalence issue is raising difficult questions about length of study for other degrees, too. Times Higher Education
[6th October 2008]

£400m boost to universities' work with businesses
Funding council says universities have become a source of knowledge for a range of activities. The Guardian
[6th October 2008]

More than half of students funded by parents
The majority of students rely on their families, rather than part-time jobs and loans, to pay for their studies, research shows. The Guardian
[6th October 2008]

1 in 3 graduates not repaying student loans
400,000 students have not made repayments on their loans up to seven years after graduation. The Guardian
[6th October 2008]

Customised coins highlight fees protest
Student campaigners circulate adapted £1 coins at Westminster. The Guardian
[6th October 2008]

Exams cut by 20% in bid to improve assessment
The University of Cambridge is planning to offer one-year foundation courses for pupils who fail to win a place because their A-level grades are not good enough. Times Higher Education
[29th September 2008]

New university opens in Milton Keynes
University Centre Milton Keynes to provide hub for regional institutions and courses for local businesses thanks to £7.3m investment. The Guardian
[23rd September 2008]

Cambridge University to give applicants a second chance to shine
The University of Cambridge is planning to offer one-year foundation courses for pupils who fail to win a place because their A-level grades are not good enough. The Times
[23rd September 2008]

Fulbright scholarships to expand
The number of high-flying UK students offered prestigious Fulbright scholarships to study in the US is set to rise. The scholarships, worth £20,000 ($40,000), have been awarded to outstanding postgraduates on both sides of the Atlantic for 60 years. The Guardian
[23rd September 2008]

The international divide
Students arriving in the UK from India and China do not always know what they are letting themselves in for. The Guardian
[23rd September 2008]

Minister promises review of tuition fees for part-time students
Bill Rammell says that part-time student funding will be considered in review of university funding next year. The Guardian
[23rd September 2008]

College: the teenage hangout of choice
Are the nation's 16-year-olds turning away from school in favour of their local FE college? Enrolment figures from around the country would suggest that this is so. The Guardian
[23rd September 2008]

University admissions procedures must be more transparent, says Denham
There is no place for 'hidden mechanisms' in the process of selecting students for oversubscribed courses, says minister. The Observer
[22nd September 2008]

Tories would scrap some Diplomas
The Conservatives have given the clearest indication yet that they would scrap the three new "academic" Diplomas. BBC News
[19th September 2008]

Oxford laments finite talent pool
Oxford University's head of admissions has said there is a "finite pool" of state school sixth-formers it can draw on to widen its intake. BBC News
[18th September 2008]

Leaders of Lib Dems to ditch fees policy
The leaders of the Liberal Democrats plan to abandon the party's opposition to student tuition fees. Times Higher Education
[18th September 2008]

HEPI call for bursary system reform
A national bursary system will address the "serious shortcomings" and "distortions" of the student-support system, which penalises the universities doing most to widen access to non-traditional students, the Higher Education Policy Institute says in a report. Times Higher Education
[18th September 2008]

Call for cash to help universities beat crunch
University staff may be handed a "0%" salary offer in 2009, after unexpectedly high pay costs this year. Times Higher Education
[18th September 2008]

Too many graduates, not enough jobs, says CBI
Universities are producing too many graduates, leaving more than a million people in jobs for which they are over-qualified, according to research by employers. The Guardian
[17th September 2008]

Record increase in part-time students
Universities are recruiting part-timers in an effort to hit government's 50% target, research shows. The Guardian
[16th September 2008]

Foreigners 'prop up' universities
A Universities UK report shows that since 2000-01 university income has grown by more than 50%. The largest share coming from international students. BBC News
[16th September 2008]

Not too late for student clearing
Prospective university students mulling their options after failing to get the exam grades they needed still have a week to apply through clearing. BBC News
[15th September 2008]

Buckingham tops national student survey
he University of Buckingham, which at under 1,000 students is one tenth the size of the average UK university, has the most satisfied students. The Guardian
[15th September 2008]

Skills gap still a concern, UUK told
The UK is "not yet anywhere near" a position where employers believe that the university system is producing graduates with the skills they want, John Denham, the Universities Secretary, warned this week. Times Higher Education
[11th September 2008]

Survey finds it's all work, less play for the top-up generation
In the first Sodexo-Times Higher Education University Lifestyle Survey since the introduction of top-up tuition fees, 70 per cent of students polled said they were worried about achieving the degree classification they wanted, up from 57 per cent when the last survey was carried out, two years ago. Times Higher Education

[11th September 2008]

Tory promise: more students, more freedom
Shadow Minister says he wants a bold new direction for higher education policy.
[11th September 2008]

Call for cash to help universities beat crunch
The government must find more money for British universities despite the credit crunch, Prof Rick Trainor, president of vice-chancellors' umbrella group Universities UK, said today. The Guardian
[11th September 2008]

More universities back academies
Universities are expanding their involvement in the academy programme in England, says the schools secretary.BBC News
[10th September 2008]

University staff set for 5% rise
UK university staff are set to receive pay rises of more than twice the government's public sector target rate. The Guardian
[9th September 2008]

Cambridge drops law entrance test
Cambridge University is scrapping the LNat admissions test for would-be law students from next year. BBC News
[9th September 2008]

More state pupils enter Cambridge
The proportion of British students admitted to the University of Cambridge from state schools has gone up by more than 7% in a year, figures show. BBC News
[9th September 2008]

Inflation threatens to hit hard
Vice-chancellors meet this week with money on their minds. The agenda for the Universities UK annual conference in Cambridge ranges over the future of the sector - but staff pay, pensions and the outcome of the research assessment exercise is what they really want to talk about. The Guardian
[9th September 2008]

Fears over radiation in Manchester lab
Manchester University staff have used labs contaminated by radioactivity, a confidential report reveals The Guardian
[9th September 2008]

Registration deadline looms to hire non-EU staff
With less than a month left to apply for a licence to appoint new academics from outside Europe, most universities have not filed their applications. Times Higher Education

[5th September 2008]

Managers slip into roles once the preserve of academics
A new breed of professional manager is moving into areas of university work traditionally handled by academics, according to a report from the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education. Times Higher Education
[5th September 2008]

Students happy to invest in future
Student debt has soared, but most undergraduates feel confident that they are making a sound financial investment in their future career by taking degrees, according to the results of an exclusive Sodexo-Times Higher Education survey. Times Higher Education
[5th September 2008]

Finances top list of threats to the health of UK sector
In research carried out by financial advisory firm Grant Thornton, 28 vice-chancellors were asked for their assessment of the health and prospects of the sector. Of these, almost 80% named financial stability and sustainability as a top concern, with 60% identifying the closely related issue of pay costs as another. Times Higher Education
[5th September 2008]

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