Speaking of friction, the National Union of Students conference next month could witness the first clash of the political parties over higher education. Charles Hendry, the new Tory higher education spokesman, has challenged his Labour and Liberal Democrat counterparts - Kim Howells and David Rendel - to a debate at the conference.
It is understood that Mr Rendel is happy to take up the gauntlet. But the request has been met with silence from the Whitehall office of Dr Howells.
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