Ministers know no modesty

February 9, 2007

It seems Bill Rammell, the Higher Education Minister, is less attuned to his academic constituency than he is widely held to be. The House of Commons Education and Skills Select Committee made him squirm last week after he questioned the authority of Lord May of Oxford, former president of the Royal Society, to comment on the Bologna Process. Mr Rammell told the committee that although he had the "highest regard for Lord May's academic credentials", Lord May himself had queried why the committee had invited him to give evidence. "That was academic modesty,"

the committee explained. "Oh, OK, reading it off the page, it sometimes comes across a bit differently," a red-faced Mr Rammell conceded.

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