Oxbridge told to shape up or lose freedom
Oxford and Cambridge universities were yesterday told to modernise or face government intervention in the way they manage their affairs. The threat of state interference in the running of Britain's oldest universities followed a review ordered by chancellor Gordon Brown into relations between business and higher education. The review by Richard Lambert, a senior financial journalist and member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee, questioned whether Oxford and Cambridge were capable of sorting out their affairs quickly enough to remain world-class universities able to compete with rivals in the United States and elsewhere. Mr Lambert, who will submit his final report to the Treasury in October, said he had not yet considered what form intervention might take.
(Times, Financial Times, Guardian)
Medieval scholars strike back
More than 1,300 medieval historians launch a counter attack today on the notion that their field is merely "an intellectual adornment" - underlining the point by firing turnips from a 12th-century replica trebuchet siege engine during a conference break at Leeds University. Power dressing, women's rights and regional government are also on the agenda of the 10th International Medieval Congress, which has been given edge by dismissive comments on the subject in May attributed to the education secretary, Charles Clarke.
Former archbishop to become university chancellor
Lord Carey of Clifton is to be the first chancellor of the new University of Gloucestershire. The former archbishop of Canterbury will be installed in his post during a service at the new university's chapel in Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham, on October 14.
Newspaper launches campaign against top-up fees
Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs last night backed the Daily Express campaign against university top-up fees. One well-placed minister predicted that fees would be "kicked into the long grass" because a weakened Tony Blair could not afford to risk the wrath of Middle England.
DNA landmark in sight
The number of genetic samples on the National DNA Database will reach 2 million today. The Home Office says the database links suspects to 15 murders, 31 rapes and 770 car crimes each month.