News in brief

September 4, 2008

Universities UK

Degree credit system published

A single national higher education credit system - which ensures that students at different universities accumulate academic credit towards their degrees in the same way and can move between institutions - has been published along with guidance to help institutions comply. The higher education credit framework for England was published jointly by Universities UK, GuildHE and the Quality Assurance Agency. The Bologna Process on harmonising higher education across Europe requires each country to work within a single credit framework so as to increase student mobility.

Higher Education Statistics Agency

Statistics web database goes live

Access to statistical information on higher education has been improved by the launch of an online database by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). The new version of the site, called heidi 2.0, contains data from sources including HESA, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, the Training and Development Agency for Schools, the National Student Survey and Estates Management Statistics. Robin Sibson, chief executive of HESA, said the subscription-based service should reduce the cost and effort of planning and reporting.

The Conference Board

Business must talk to universities

Business engagement with universities will become essential as a brain drain from the workplace threatens to hamper innovation, growth and efficiency, according to a report from The Conference Board. Diane Piktialis, mature workforce programme leader at the global business membership organisation, said: "As the baby-boom generation of corporate leaders and experts approaches retirement, businesses ... face the loss of experience and knowledge on an unprecedented scale." Kent Greenes, co-author of the report, Bridging the Gaps, said: "Knowledge transfer is not as widely practised as the potential business benefits and workforce demographics suggest it should be."

Times Higher Education

'Escape goats' tops poll

Congratulations to Greg Garrard, senior teaching fellow at Bath Spa University, who is the winner of our "exam howlers" competition, a summer tradition that Times Higher Education decided to revive this year. Although there were plenty of student slip-ups to choose from, following an office vote, one entry emerged as the clear winner. As readers of last week's magazine will be aware, Dr Garrard was informed by one of his students that Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale "shows how patriarchy treats women as escape goats". He receives a magnum of champagne.

Corrections

In a news item on 21 August ("Retiring types in spotlight as legacy hunters expand focus"), we mistakenly referred to the late Rosalind Driver as "Ross Driver" and later as "Professor Ross". Apologies.

In a table accompanying the article "Top 20 secure nearly two thirds of research funds while others are left with nothing" (21 August), we said data from the Economic and Social Research Council included strategic mode grants only. We meant responsive mode grants only.

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