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January 17, 2003

Former Labour education secretary and leader of the Liberal Democrats in the Lords Shirley Williams has yet to rule herself out of the race to become the next chancellor of the University of Oxford. But comments she made in this month's Prospect magazine could do just that for her. She says: "I doubt whether there are any internationally first-rate universities left in Britain." She also comes out in favour of students at research-led universities paying higher tuition fees than those at other institutions - an issue on which Oxford vice-chancellor Sir Colin Lucas has avoided making a stand.

Baroness Williams joins former US president Bill Clinton, Tory grandees Lord Heseltine, Lord Lawson and Chris Patten as potential candidates.

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