TRANSCENDENTAL meditation - as practised by Conservative party leader William Hague - could solve the crisis in higher education, the head of the Maharishi College of Management and Education has claimed.
In a publicity campaign launched last week, Geoffrey Clements, the college's vice chancellor, said there was a need not just for more higher education places to satisfy demand, but also for "a new approach that develops the full creative potential of every student".
The college's teaching methods could unlock students' "inner genius", he said.
Dr Clements, who is also leader of the Natural Law party, said he believed that all universities, colleges and schools should adopt Maharishi methods.
"Without giving prominence to the full development of the consciousness of every student, education will continue to be fundamentally unsatisfying. We must have at least one university institution that provides this missing element, without which education is basically meaningless," he said.
The college will hope that more people want to learn the Maharishi way this year than the six who enrolled last September in what Dr Clements called a "pilot scheme".
He hopes to attract as many as 50 students for the coming year for its BSc programmes in management, economics, and computing and information systems, or a BA in English. However, the Pounds 12,000 annual fee could prove something of an obstacle for the less wealthy.
It is not yet certain if any programmes will run this year, as each needs 20 students to break even. Between 30 and 40 applications have been received.
The college offers the external programme of the University of London. Students' daily routine includes transcendental meditation sessions. The technique is claimed to improve academic performance, memory, learning ability and happiness, while decreasing stress, frustration, anxiety and "negative habits" such as alcohol and tobacco use and drug abuse.