Universities can't be blamed for tripping over themselves to woo students as they try to balance their books. But outraged staff at Birkbeck, University of London, told us this week that their institution had spent almost £400,000 on a marketing campaign to raise its profile among "core student markets". The marketers point to 60,000 extra inquiries and 1,000 more would-be students at its open days. But one disgruntled academic huffed: "What else could have been bought with this money? Free scholarships to all the new students plus laptops."