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January 23, 2002

£6m research boost for Welsh universities
The Welsh Assembly has announced an extra £6 million for higher education in Wales for the current academic year. Jane Davidson, the assembly’s education minister, said the money should help support research growth.

Children's fantasy wins Whitbread prize
Former lecturer Philip Pullman has become the first children’s writer to win the Whitbread Book of the Year title, landing a £30,000 prize. His fantasy novel, The Amber Spyglass, was judged the "overwhelming" winner. Pullman, 55, who used to lecture at Oxford’s Westminster College, now writes full time.

Edexcel rebuffs waves of criticism
The supposedly "unanswerable" AS-Level maths question that led to Edexcel being engulfed by a wave of derision has been answered correctly by two-thirds of candidates who took the exam last week, the exam board said today. Qualifications director Paul Sokoloff also confirmed that coursework of 20 performing arts students from Barnstaple, Devon, which the examiner was alleged to have lost, had turned up.

Italian academics admonish Berlusconi
Lecturers at Florence University are to demonstrate tomorrow in protest at alleged attempts by Silvio Berlusconi's government to curb the powers of the Italian judiciary. The government says it is defending itself against politically-motivated judges who are trying to undermine the government with corruption trials and investigations, some of which involve Mr Berlusconi and his associates.

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