Today's news

May 13, 2003

Tories say they will scrap tuition fees
All students would be entitled to free university education under an audacious Conservative attempt to recapture the middle classes to be announced today. Iain Duncan Smith's biggest policy announcement to date will also scrap the government's target of getting half of all young people to university by the end of the decade. Mr Duncan Smith will describe university fees as a tax on learning and say that too many young people are being forced on to unsuitable courses when they would benefit more from good vocational qualifications. But university vice-chancellors said the Conservatives' sums did not appear to add up. "At first sight, the proposal would deprive universities of a much-needed source of funding to relieve middle-class students from paying fees," Roderick Floud, president of Universities UK, said. "Abolishing the target that 50 per cent of young people should go to university would save little money in the short run and leave the UK lagging behind other countries in the world knowledge economy."
(Times, Daily Telegraph, Indpendent)

Research elitism will make life harder for female academics
The government's plans to reform higher education will increase the pay and opportunities gap between men and women in universities, lecturer leaders have warned. Delegates to the Association of University Teachers conference in Scarborough heard last week how a string of proposals in the government's plans would impact on women in academia, who are more likely to be on short-term contracts, less likely to be promoted and earn 81p for every £1 their male colleagues earn.

Law is top of the graduate salary chart
This year, law is the most popular degree subject among undergraduates in Britain. Figures from the Association of Graduate Recruiters show that law graduates receive an average starting salary of £28,000 - a figure that impresses students and their parents. Times Student Law considers whether all these law students will land jobs or if Britain is going down the American route and becoming over-lawyered.

Students savour the taste of victory
Law students at Northumbria University, working with Edward Fitzgerald, QC, have secured a final victory for a man who was wrongly imprisoned for robbery of a Post Office van in 1991. The students succeeded in getting Alex Allan's robbery conviction quashed in 2001 and have now sued the Home Secretary, winning compensation for his years in jail.

First Longford prize awarded
The first £3,000 Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography has been won by The Long Recessional: The Imperial Life of Rudyard Kipling, by David Gilmour.
(Daily Telegraph)   

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