More cash to widen access for students
Universities are to receive a five-fold increase in the cash they are given to widen participation by recruiting more students from a broader range of social backgrounds, it will be announced today. But vice-chancellors were concerned that the overall financial settlement from the higher education funding council for England provided only a 1.6 per cent real terms increase in funding for teaching.
(Guardian, Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, Times, Independent)
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Fees of £3,000 not enough, says Patten
Chris Patten, leading contender to become chancellor of Oxford University, said yesterday that charging students £3,000 a year would not be enough to solve the funding crisis in higher education. Mr Patten said that the government's plans to allow increased tuition fees after 2006 did not provide "anything like the full answer" to the problems facing universities. He added that the extra funding could come at the price of an unacceptable loss of control over admissions. Meanwhile, Sandi Toksvig, on a visit to Oxford today, will be endorsed by the student union as candidate for the chancellorship after she opposed top-up fees.
Sheffield wins case over drugs research software
Cyprotex Discovery, a biotechnology software company, has lost its court battle with the University of Sheffield over the ownership of copyright on software developed during a drugs research programme. The university argued that, while the company had written a software program for its Symcip research project, it had commissioned the work and provided the underlying scientific research. The work related to modelling of the effects of drugs in virtual humans, reducing the use of animal testing.
Spin-offs exploit research
British universities are spinning-off science-based companies at an ever-increasing rate, according to government figures released today. The number of companies set up by academics to exploit their research rose from 203 in 1999-2000 to 248 in 2000-01; there had been just 338 spin-offs during the previous five years. British universities generate one new company for every £12 million of research spending, compared with one for every £46 million in the US.