Today's news

February 15, 2007

Cambridge halfway to £1bn fundraising target
Cambridge University announced today that it has raised half a billion pounds in a major fundraising drive to reduce its dependence on government grants. The elite institution aims to raise £1 billion from wealthy benefactors and former students by 2012 to help preserve its historic buildings and fund new research. The news that Cambridge is now halfway to its target came as Tony Blair unveiled a scheme to encourage more private individuals to donate to universities.
The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph

Blair wants ex-students to fund universities
Universities would collapse without tuition fees and must now seek to find a third major source of income through fund-raising, Tony Blair says today. Business, former students and philanthropists can help provide funds to expand higher education and ensure universities are in a position to compete internationally, he says. Mr Blair, writing in The Daily Telegraph , urges universities in this country to follow the example of those in America. "Britain spends about the same public money on higher education as the US but the average American university has an endowment 15 times that of a comparable UK university," he says.
The Daily Telegraph, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Independent

Growing gender gap risks turning universities into ‘male-free zones’
The gap between the number of men and women applying to university has grown fivefold under Labour as ever more women opt to take a degree. While the Government trumpeted record numbers of teenagers wanting to continue with further education yesterday, academics voiced concerns about the widening rift between the sexes. Between 1998 and 2007, 14,305 more men applied for university places, compared to 51,214 more women. This gap has increased every year for six years. Malcolm Grant, Provost of University College London, gave warning that unless the trend slowed, colleges could become male-free zones.
The Times

University ends 'supercampus' admissions
Glasgow University yesterday signalled the start of its withdrawal from an education "supercampus", despite protests from staff and students. The university's ruling court announced that it will not be admitting any new students to the Crichton campus in Dumfries. It was revealed last month that the university, which shares the campus with Bell College and the University of Paisley, was losing £800,000 a year because the Scottish Funding Council was refusing to pay for more student places.
The Scotsman, The Times Higher Education Supplement (February 15)

Concern over drop in number of Scots on postgraduate courses
The number of Scots students taking postgraduate courses has slumped since devolution. Official figures show there were 10,205 students on postgraduate courses in 1999-2000, but the figure had fallen to 9,640 by 2004-5 - down 6 per cent. Postgraduate students are seen as vital to the higher education sector as they can generate research income and boost their universities' reputation for academic excellence. The figures were uncovered by the SNP, which said the fear of debt was behind the decline.
The Scotsman

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