News in brief

April 2, 2009

University and College Union Wales

Solidarity breaks down

A breach has opened up in the University and College Union Wales between representatives of higher and further education institutions. UCU branches at six Welsh universities voted to boycott the UCU Wales annual conference last month in protest against a new set of rules drafted by the chair of the union, Peter Jones, a further education college tutor. The rules give the further education sector an automatic majority vote in UCU Wales, although it has 10,000 more higher education members. Branches at Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, Glamorgan, Lampeter and Swansea universities decided against sending members to the conference, where a vote was held and the rules were ratified. The universities represent more than 45 per cent of UCU Wales' total membership. The six branches are considering an approach to the Certification Office for Trade Unions and Employers to establish if the meeting was quorate. UCU's head office declined to comment.

Entrepreneurial aid

Cash for small-business research

The Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship has launched a funding pot to encourage researchers to explore entrepreneurial activity and the performance of small firms in the UK economy. The Research and Knowledge Exchange Fund, set up in partnership with Barclays Bank and the Economic and Social Research Council, will award cash to research projects that support the development of policy and practice for small businesses. A call for applications will be announced shortly.

IUSS Select Committee

Academic testimony wanted

MPs want academics' views of the Government's plans to align science funding with the UK's economic strengths. The Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Select Committee has issued a call for supplementary evidence from the academy as part of its inquiry into Whitehall's proposals. Responses are sought by 20 April.

Business schools

London and INSEAD lead Europe

London Business School and INSEAD have been named Europe's top business schools by the employers that recruit from them. Seventy European business schools made the QS Global 200 Business Schools 2009 list. Twenty-one UK institutions appear in the top 200, including Cranfield and Warwick.

Animal testing

Scientists oppose tougher laws

Nine UK bioscience organisations have signed a "declaration of concern" opposing the tightening of European laws on the use of animals for research. The organisations, which include the Medical Research Council and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, remain "deeply concerned" that a draft revision to update the laws could adversely affect scientific and medical progress.


Owing to incorrect data for 2006-07 on Staffordshire University, the Times Higher Education vice-chancellors' salaries table for 2007-08 showed a pay rise of 16.6 per cent for Christine King. The actual figure was 8 per cent.

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