Does the University of Edinburgh know something the rest of us do not? At 5pm today, it is due to award chancellor Gordon Brown an honorary degree. Meanwhile, the rest of us await the results of the spending review, due to be announced by the Treasury next week. Will there be cash to reward the improved performance in the research assessment exercise? Will there be money to widen participation? Will there be dosh to address poor pay? And will Edinburgh's timely intervention boost the fortunes of higher education across the board?