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February 8, 2002

BMA concern over medical school expansion
Medical schools have expanded too fast, leaving them unable to provide their students with adequate facilities and resources, according to the British Medical Association. Students at Birmingham University, which has 100 extra students, said they may be barred from ward rounds to avoid overcrowding. They also feared they would have to travel further for clinical placements to hospitals which may have no previous teaching experience. There were 900 extra medical students this year.

Natfhe hits back at dropout claims
Lecturers' union Natfhe has defended the performance of the college sector following a damning report by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee. The PAC report said that college dropout rates of 44 per cent were not acceptable. Natfhe general secretary Paul Mackney said schools and sixth-form colleges creamed off the best students and got more money for teaching them. He added that low pay had triggered an exodus of qualified lecturers.

Regions adopt unified skills strategy
A new framework for employment and skills was published today to encourage a "joined-up" approach to education and training in the English regions. The Framework for Employment and Skills Action will bring together the 47 local Learning and Skills Councils and the Emploment Service to ensure that regional skills gaps are plugged quickly and effectively.

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