Today's news

October 8, 2004


Parents get advice on how to beat the system
The Economist magazine has given middle-class parents a blueprint on how to get their children into the best universities in Blair's Britain. The magazine has produced a flow-chart advising parents to boost their child's chances by switching from private to state-school education in the sixth form, making them more acceptable to admissions tutors.
( Daily Mail )

Lack of funding is damaging universities, says UCL head
Malcolm Grant, president of University College London, said the growth in higher education has not been matched by funding. He said: "My international counterparts are bewildered that an institution such as UCL, with an annual turnover of some £500 million, and respected worldwide, faces such a challenge to break even each year."
( Independent )

Oxford needs better ways to spot brainpower
Michael Beloff, president of Trinity College, Oxford, may think that the university's admissions system is meritocratic, but it still favours private-school pupils who have been specifically trained to get in, according to one Oxford graduate. Oxford still has private-school pupils who are intellectually challenged, says David Carr, who adds that the university is letting state-school pupils with poorer grades but with more brainpower slip through its net.
( Daily Telegraph )

Howard found wanting on education policy
Michael Howard, the Conservative Party leader, has promised to sack ministers who underperform but he displayed a thin grasp of his party's plans at a question-and-answer session. Asked about pledges by Tim Collins, Shadow Education Secretary to scrap tuition fees within his first week, if in power, and shed two thirds of the education department's staff, Mr Howard seemed unaware of the plans. "I have not looked at what the plans in detail are for the Department for Education and Skills so I do not know how long it will take Tim to do that. I dare say he can make a start on Day 1," hedged Mr Howard.
( Times )

Cambridge students save kebab house
Some 8,000 Cambridge University students past and present, including the actor Stephen Fry and former Conservative minister Michael Portillo, have signed a petition to save a much-loved kebab house in Cambridge city's centre. The local council has been swayed from its plan to close the Gardenia Restaurant, or 'Gardies' as it is affectionately known.
( Times )

What the political parties would do for education
Round-up of the promises made at the three party conferences outlining Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat plans for education.
( The Guardian )

Death of a classicist
Michael Grant, the classicist who was the first vice-chancellor of Khartoum University and author of nearly 50 books on all aspects of the ancient world, has died at the age of 89. Professor Grant was also a don at Cambridge University, professor of humanity (Latin) at Edinburgh University, and vice-chancellor of Queen's Belfast.
( Telegraph )

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