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March 20, 2002

Key role for students in quality assurance
Students will be put centre stage in the drive to raise standards in universities, higher education minister Margaret Hodge said today. Student views will play a key role in the new framework for quality assurance in higher education developed by universities, colleges, the Quality Assurance Agency and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Universities rejecting Curriculum 2000
Universities are undermining Curriculum 2000. According to research conducted by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, which questioned 30,000 school teachers, 42 per cent said higher education had responded negatively to the curriculum reforms.

Scots predict huge climate change mop-up bill
Scotland could face an annual bill of £43 million by 2080 because of more frequent and severe flooding caused by climate changes, according to geography researchers at Dundee University. They predict increases of up to 20 per cent in inland floods alongside more coastal flooding because of rising sea levels.

Prince opens Jerwood Medical Education Centre
The Prince of Wales was today opening a new medical resource centre, part of the Royal College of Physicians. The Jerwood Medical Education Centre will provide advice and information in a state-of-the-art building costing £5 million.

Italian economic adviser murdered
Assassins last night gunned down Marco Biagi, 52, a professor of economics at the University of Modena, outside his home in Bologna. Professor Biagi was an adviser to the labour ministry, which has been pressing for more flexibility in labour laws. The murder is almost identical in technique to the 1999 murder of economist Massimo D'Antona, another academic working with the government on labour issues. That murder was claimed by a self-styled "new" Red Brigade, but the killers have so far not been arrested.

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