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January 18, 2002

Pressure mounts for funding rethink
Tory and Liberal Democrat MPs have joined the National Union of Students in calling for an overhaul of the way students are funded. They were responding to research from the National Audit Office showing that working-class youngsters had to earn more money than rich ones to support themselves at university. Higher education minister Margaret Hodge told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I do think the current system is a nightmare.”

NI institutions attend anti-sectarian protests
Hundreds of staff and students in Northern Ireland today joined anti-sectarian rallies following the murder of 20-year-old Daniel McColgan, a Catholic postman, by loyalist paramilitaries. Scheduled examinations went ahead, but Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University arranged cover for staff who wished to attend.

US bioethics council to examine cloning
Human cloning is to be the first issue examined by President George W. Bush's council on bioethics, chairman Leon R. Kass, a professor of social thought at the University of Chicago, has announced. A report is expected this summer. Meanwhile, the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School is to stop creating human embryos for stem-cell research. The institute denies its decision is a reaction to political pressure.

Government is 'failing' students, says Oxford Union
Oxford students voted overwhelmingly in support of the motion “This house believes that the government’s higher education policy is failing British students” at the Oxford Union last night. Higher education minister Margaret Hodge said higher education had to expand to meet the needs of the knowledge economy and to ensure that students from all social classes had equal access.

Oxford’s vice-chancellor Colin Lucas warned that without extra funding the government’s twin aims of widening participation and promoting world-class universities were contradictory. Liberal Democrat education spokesman David Rendel and Conservative education spokesman Damien Green supported the motion. 

  

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