Blackstone hint brings Bett cash cheer

December 17, 1999

Higher education minister Baroness Blackstone has signalled that extra government cash could be available to boost lecturers' pay in the forthcoming spending review, writes Alan Thomson.

Baroness Blackstone gave hope to academics in a debate in the House of Lords on Wednesday of last week. It is the strongest indication yet that the government is prepared to find the extra money needed to meet recommendations on pay in the Bett report.

Academics knew there would be no cash for Bett in the current comprehensive spending review.

Baroness Blackstone told the Lords: "The next spending review is now under way and university staff will clearly be a factor. But ... I cannot prejudge the outcome. However, perhaps I may say ... that the government is not washing its hands of that issue."

The minister also underlined the need for university diversity in terms of available funding for teaching and research. She said: "Therefore, for some there should be more money for research and more money perhaps for widening participation and other projects."

Lord Butler, master of University College, Oxford, had earlier told peers it would be tragic if the potential of higher education was to be squandered through neglect of the "precious stock of human capital". Oxford University's chancellor Lord Jenkins of Hillhead called for an end to the government's cap on tuition fees.

Former Conservative education secretary Lord Baker of Dorking said the government had to face up to differential fees.

Soapbox, page 16

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns