News in brief

March 13, 2008

INNOVATION, UNIVERSITIES, SKILLS COMMITTEE

MPS SOLICIT VIEWS ON LEITCH REPORT

An inquiry has been launched into the Government's agenda to boost the nation's skills. A committee of MPs will examine responses to the agenda set out in Lord Leitch's review of skills and assess how these will affect the broader structures of lifelong learning and further and higher education. The committee is inviting evidence on the responses of regional development agencies to the Leitch agenda; the role of the Learning and Skills Council and sector skills councils; existing regional structures of delivery and what sub-regional strategies may be required; the respective roles of further and higher education in delivering a region-based agenda for Leitch; and the impact on students. The deadline for written submissions to the Innovation, Universities and Skills Committee's inquiry is 18 April.

2012 OLYMPICS

UNIVERSITIES MAY HOST OLYMPIANS

Sports facilities at universities around the country are potential training camps for countries competing in the London 2012 Olympics. More than 80 facilities at further education and higher education institutions have been included in a guide for participants. The universities of Leeds Metropolitan, Loughborough, Brunel and Bath are all offering training for a number of sports in their bids. Kate Potter, director of Podium, the further and higher education unit for the 2012 Games, said: "With our universities and colleges already playing home to the majority of our elite athletes, they are the ideal place to be used by teams in the build-up to the 2012 Games."

Podium

CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF MARKETING

MARKETEERS SEEK TO DISPEL MYTHS

A new group is aiming to counter "popular misconceptions" about marketing professionals in higher education. Paul Drake, chair of the new Chartered Institute of Marketing Higher Education Marketing Group, which claims to be the first professionally accredited marketing group dedicated to higher education, said many marketeers felt that their activities were dismissed as peripheral rather than work that boosted recruitment and raised the academic profile of an institution.

EQUALITY CHALLENGE UNIT

GENDER REASSIGNMENT HIGHLIGHTED

The Equality Challenge Unit has issued guidance on gender reassignment among university staff and students. There are no figures for the number of "trans" people (people undergoing transition) working or studying at higher education institutions, but statistics suggest that there are about 5,000 trans people in the UK as a whole. The guidance highlights "gender-equality duty", which requires universities to have due regard for the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination and to include trans people in gender-equality schemes.

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