News in brief

April 9, 2009

Times Higher Education

Thumbs up from readers

More than 90 per cent of Times Higher Education readers are satisfied with the magazine, while 81 per cent say that it is personally "important" to them. A readership survey carried out by market researchers Reiman/O'Donnell found that almost one in five (19 per cent) readers was "very satisfied" with the publication, while an additional 74 per cent were "satisfied". Asked how important the weekly magazine was to them personally, more than a quarter (26 per cent) said it was "very important", while a further 55 per cent said it was "important". The survey was the first comprehensive study of the views of Times Higher Education readers since it relaunched as a full-colour magazine in January 2008, ending its 36-year history as a tabloid newspaper. Overall, 74 per cent said that the new format was better than the previous one - including 51 per cent who said it was "much better". We thank all those readers who took part in the survey.

Life sciences

Office to encourage growth

A government office has been established to address key issues affecting the successful growth of the life sciences industry. Led by Lord Drayson, Science and Innovation Minister, and part of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, the new "virtual" Office for Life Sciences will co-ordinate national policy and help improve the environment for the industry. Lord Drayson said: "Life science is one of the key strategic sectors of the future ... We must focus on rebalancing the economy towards those sectors where we have a competitive advantage and an opportunity to be a global leader."

Universities UK

Online help for struggling firms

The ways in which recession-hit employers can seek help from higher education are outlined in a microsite launched by Universities UK. The website gives details of key contacts in institutions and advice about how universities can help firms raise capital, develop patents and set up work-placement schemes.

Further education

HE strategies required for 2010

All English further education colleges must draw up a higher education strategy for the Higher Education Funding Council for England. By 11 January 2010, colleges are asked to describe the "context" for their higher education teaching, taking account of other institutions in their areas as well as providers not funded by Hefce.

Design industry

University involvement is 'unfair'

The Government is damaging the design industry by using universities as consultants rather than private-sector experts, says a report on behalf of British Design Innovation, an industry think-tank. It calls on the Government to rethink the way it uses universities to deliver innovation and blames the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills for a "distortion of the market through unfair competition". The report claims that directing this publicly funded activity to university research departments threatens the future of design consultancies.

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