Nobel winner returns degree in protest
Nobel prizewinning chemist Sir Harry Kroto has returned an honorary degree to Hertfordshire University in protest at cuts in the chemistry department. A Hertfordshire spokesman said the cuts were part of a restructuring exercise that was “deemed necessary.”
Liddell gets top Scottish job
Former education minister for Scotland Helen Liddell has been appointed secretary of state for Scotland following Peter Mandelson’s resignation. Mrs Liddell, who is a graduate of Strathclyde University, will be the first woman to hold the post. She replaces John Reid, who takes over from Mr Mandelson as Northern Ireland secretary.
Brunel v-c moves to Birmingham
Michael Sterling will be the next vice-chancellor of the University of Birmingham.
Professor Sterling, currently vice-chancellor of Brunel University, will succeed Maxwell Irvine on October 1. An engineer by background, Professor Sterling was educated at the University of Sheffield and has worked in academia and the private sector.
Year of languages launched
Higher education minister Baroness Blackstone and minister for Europe Keith Vaz today launched the European Year of Languages. The initiative aims to boost language learning in 45 participant states. Events planned for the year will involve colleges and universities throughout the UK.