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January 31, 2002

Universities urged to talent-spot poor
Universities must do more to attract students from poor backgrounds, higher education minister Margaret Hodge said today. Speaking at the University of London Union debate, she said: "Universities must do more themselves to hunt down potential talent in secondary schools in disadvantaged areas with the aim of boosting the numbers of suitable students that eventually apply to their campuses."

Post-16 e-learning task force announced
A post-16 strategy task force to examine how e-learning can improve learning opportunities was announced today by education secretary Estelle Morris. It is to be chaired by Steve Morrison of Granada and its members include Ruth Silver, principal of Leiwsham College, Bob Fryer, chief executive designate of the NHS University, Lorna Cocking, UK publishing director of Pearson Education, John Taylor, prinicpal of Sheffield College and Stephen Molyneaux of Wolverhampton University.

DFES adjusts graduate estimate downwards
The Department for Education and Skills has been forced to scale back its estimate of how many 18 to 30-year-olds have already been through higher education. It used to think 44 per cent had done so but permanent secretary David Normington acknowledged to the public accounts committee yesterday that the DFES now believed it was 41.5 per cent.

Medical student debt tops £30,000
A report on student debt published today by the British Medical Association claims the amount owed by medical students has spiralled out of control and in one case was as high as £30,000. Meanwhile the Student Living Report 2002 shows debt has shot up by just over a quarter in 12 months.

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