News in Brief

September 9, 2010

Representative bodies

Westwood bound for GuildHE

A former government adviser has been appointed the next chief executive of GuildHE. Andy Westwood is to succeed Alice Hynes next month. He is the former head of policy for The Work Foundation and director of the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion. Ruth Farwell, GuildHE chair and vice-chancellor of Bucks New University, said his "wide policy background" will be an asset to members as they respond to Lord Browne of Madingley's review of university funding. Mr Westwood will continue to work with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development as president of the Forum on Social Innovations, where he focuses on lifelong learning, employment and economic development. He will also retain his links with the Institute of Education, where he is a visiting Fellow, and with London South Bank and Buckingham universities, where he is a visiting professor.

Graduate employment

Degrees of success

Research from the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada shows that university graduates will earn an average of C$1.3 million (£800,000) more over their lifetimes than those who do not go on to higher education. The organisation points to experiences during the recession as evidence of how degrees can benefit individuals looking for employment: there were 150,000 new jobs for university graduates in Canada between September 2008 and March 2010 compared with 684,000 fewer jobs for those without degrees during the same period. The findings, based on data from Statistics Canada, also suggest that the benefits of a degree go beyond the purely financial: university graduates also have fewer periods of unemployment and tend to live healthier lives, the AUCC says.

Health research

Prevention is better than cure

The National Prevention Research Initiative has made a £10 million funding call for research into combating unhealthy lifestyle choices. The NPRI is a partnership of 16 public sector and charitable organisations, managed by the Medical Research Council, which aims to develop cost-effective measures to reduce people's risk of developing major diseases. It has invested £33 million in preventative research since 2004. Its fourth funding call focuses on cross-disciplinary research into how to encourage people to adopt healthy lifestyles and eliminate disease-promoting behaviour such as smoking, poor diet, physical inactivity and alcohol consumption. The deadline for applications is 3 November.


Wolverhampton head calls time

The vice-chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton is to retire. Caroline Gipps, who was appointed in 2005, announced last week that she would step down at the end of the forthcoming academic year. She said that after 40 years in full-time work, she had decided it was "time to do something else". Professor Gipps, 62, is an expert in educational assessment. Previously she was dean of research at the Institute of Education and deputy vice-chancellor of Kingston University. Wolverhampton says in a statement that under her leadership the university has "received recognition for its world-leading research activity; redesigned its curriculum; built an increased international presence; and enhanced its regional, national and international business links".


In last week's Times Higher Education, Bernard Lamb, president of The Queen's English Society, argued that academics and schools must do more to address poor spelling and grammar among their students.

Responding online, Mike Simpson offered a limerick on the issue:

"A professor, alone in his mansion Felt standards had room for expansion 'Students' English is worse' He lamented in verse But he couldn't quite master the scansion."


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