Liverpool University is taking a showbiz approach to education this autumn when it launches a soap opera-style television commercial in a bid to attract more students on to its continuing education courses. Local playwright Willy Russell of Educating Rita fame will present the TV advert. The message, on the set of the Merseyside soap opera Brookside, will be simple: "It's your university, why not use it?" It is believed to be the first time a university has used television to advertise its continuing education courses. The 30-second commercial will be shown on Channel 4 this month.
The main public sector scientists' union is threatening protest action by all its members in research unless the Natural Environment Research Council reverses a decision to pursue a "first-in, first-out" redundancy policy. The Institution of Professional Civil Servants is indignant at the council's plan to meet its targets for job losses by selecting older scientists before newcomers.