Today's news

February 24, 2005

Oxford unveils radical plans to overhaul university governance
Oxford University has published radical plans to overhaul its governance structure, creating a body that will bring the university's disparate colleges and faculties together for the first time. The move to create an academic council of 150 members chaired by the vice-chancellor was hailed by some at the university as a revolutionary step that would centralise power towards the new council.
The Financial times, The Times

Brunel faces strike over redundancies
Lecturers at Brunel University are to ballot for industrial action over plans by the university to axe up to 60 members of staff who are not considered 'research active'. The university's branch of the Association of University Teachers has been campaigning against the redundancies, announced last September, which amount to almost one in eight of the academic staff. Last week, the association's national executive unanimously endorsed the ballot for further action.
The Guardian

Kelly's plans do not go far enough, warn dismayed students
At Farnborough sixth-form college in Hampshire, teenagers were bitterly disappointed at the Government's failure to adopt the full Tomlinson reforms. Bright students said they often felt restricted to choosing traditional A-level courses that would impress university admissions tutors. They had hoped the over-arching diploma proposed by Sir Mike would have allowed future sixth-formers to combine vocational and academic courses, and for each type of learning eventually to command equal respect.
The Independent, The Guardian

Lecturers and teachers put in more hours
Britons worked the equivalent of £23 billion in unpaid overtime last year and the trend is showing no sign of slowing in spite of new working time rules introduced by the Government, the TUC says in a study today. That figure equates to an average of six hours a week, which would have earned employees £4,650 each last year if they had been paid for it. The group most affected by working unpaid hours are teachers and lecturers, who spend an average of 11 hours 36 minutes a week doing unpaid overtime, mainly through marking pupils' work or assessing students.
The Guardian, The Telegraph, Evening Standard

MPs warned again on university funding gaps
The university tuition fee system being introduced next year will penalise the institutions which do most to educate students from poorer backgrounds, MPs were told. The Government wants more disadvantaged students, ethnic minorities and women to go to university, and last year's higher education act which brought in the controversial £3,000-a-year fees included new bursaries to help low-income families cover the cost.
The Guardian, The Scotsman

Women climb top pay league
Female vice-chancellors have risen up the pay league table and helped to push the salary packages of university bosses to a new high, according to the latest annual survey of top academic pay. The highest earner last year was a woman, today's Times Higher survey shows, as were the recipients of the biggest pay rise for a new appointment and the vice-chancellor with the largest pay hike. Laura Tyson, dean of the London Business School, topped the table with annual earnings of £310,000.
The Guardian, The Times Higher Education Supplement February 24

Students protest at increased visa fees
Students from across Scotland were gathering outside the Scottish Parliament today to raise concerns about visa charges for international students. The event, led by Edinburgh University Students’ Association and supported by NUS Scotland, was aimed at highlighting "contradictions" between increased visa charges and the Scottish Executive Fresh Talent initiative.
The Scotsman

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