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January 22, 2002

Education secretary furious with Edexcel
The exam board that set an AS-level maths question that was impossible to answer has also lost the AS-level coursework of 20 performing arts students in Devon and left two pages out of a key skills exam in communications being sat today by students in Kent.

Two-thirds of colleges felt that embattled exam board Edexcel's performance last year was either poor or very poor and almost three-quarters believed it was getting worse, a survey by the Association of Colleges shows.

Education secretary Estelle Morris said her "fury" over the error could only be matched by that of the pupils and teachers involved. "I'm appalled, of course I am, this was a basic mistake," she said as she entered Downing Street for a meeting with the prime minister. 
Shefc appoints research policy director
David Gani, chair of organic chemistry at Birmingham University, has been appointed director of research policy at the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council. Professor Gani is chair of the joint biomolecular sciences committee of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences and Engineering and Physical Sciences research councils.

Screen saver project to aid anthrax research
Oxford University is using screen savers to combat anthrax. In partnership with United Devices the university will use idle computer time to search for molecules that could halt the effects of anthrax. Oxford's cancer screen saver project already uses more than 1 million personal computers to screen molecules as potential anti-cancer drugs.

US budget to favour black higher education
Black universities and colleges in the United States are to receive an extra 3.6 per cent in federal funding, education secretary Roderick R. Paige announced at a ceremony to mark the birthday of Martin Luther King. The additional $7.4 million (£5.1 million) is subject to congressional approval of next month's budget .

Moldovan rectors resist compulsory Russian
Rectors of Moldova's universities protested in person to prime minister Vasile Tarlev yesterday at the introduction of compulsory Russian at primary school level. Mr Tarlev told the rectors to stop their students from taking part in the country-wide protests at the plan.

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