Hundreds of older lecturers are expected to opt for premature retirement to benefit from enhancements that will no longer be automatically available after polytechnics gain corporate status on 1 April. Almost all polytechnics are believed to be actively encouraging staff over the age of 50 to retire. Many are making their offers more tempting by promising to re-employ retired lecturers on a part-time basis. Polytechnics will be unable to afford to pay premature retirement benefits after their status changes, as such costs were previously funded from a local authority pool. Last year, hundreds of older lecturers from polytechnics around the UK accepted premature retirement with attractive enhancements, as their institutions looked to cut costs.
The National Union of Students has launched a campaign on behalf of life science students who want to opt out of animal experiments. The NUS says that "many students are forced to take part in vivisection and dissection" on courses including medicine and physiology. It will argue that alternative teaching methods should be offered.