Today's news

January 28, 2003

Maximum student grant may be raised
The government may raise the maximum £1,000 grant for students from 2006, Charles Clarke, the education secretary, said last night, in the face of complaints that the money does not go far enough to encourage young people from working-class families to go to university. Speaking at a debate on the government's plans for universities, Mr Clarke said it was possible the government would raise what he admitted was a "relatively modest level" of grant.

Gates's $200m gift to fight killer diseases
The world's richest man, Bill Gates, has set the medical community a $200 million (£122 million) challenge to narrow the health gap between the West and the developing world. Inspired by a 19th-century German mathematician who challenged his colleagues to solve the profession's 23 thorniest problems, Mr Gates is calling on medical researchers to devote more effort to the diseases which kill millions of poor people each year. Only 10 per cent of the $70bn spent on developing new drugs each year is devoted to the diseases, which cause 90 per cent of the world's health burden.

Winds of uncertainty
While many students are left in despair by last week's tuition fee proposals, university managers welcome them. Reactions from two very different institutions are charted.

Getting down to business
Chancellor Gordon Brown doubts the competence of universities to spend extra money wisely. Could they improve their management?

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