Friends in high places

November 11, 2005

Staff at the University of the West of England are hopping with excitement about their new vice-chancellor, Sir Howard Newby, who is due to start in February. Even the students were talking about it when we dropped in last week.

They are clearly hoping that having the ex-chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England on board will send the university rocketing into the corridors of power.

Perhaps they are right. Could it be coincidence that Ruth Kelly, the Education Secretary, spent the day there having private meetings on Friday?

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