Blair completes education reshuffle
The prime minister last night announced a comprehensive shake-up of the Department for Education and Skills with six new ministers appointed, including the controversial No 10 education advisor, Andrew Adonis. The education secretary, Ruth Kelly, is the only minister to survive the post-election reshuffle amid reports that she too was nearly moved to the Treasury and was yesterday locked in a battle with Tony Blair over the appointment of the now Lord Adonis, who was awarded a peerage.
The Guardian, The Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Times
Arbiters of research future named by funding body
More than 900 academics have been selected to assess the quality of research in all subjects at every British university as part of the 2008 research assessment exercise. For the next three years they will become some of the most influential scholars in their fields as they sift the papers and books produced by academics in each department - with a view to who should get the most funding for years to come. The list, published today, is dominated by academics from old universities.
State pupils 'urged to read easy A levels'
Entire areas of university study, especially mathematics, science, engineering and modern languages, are becoming the preserve of pupils educated at independent schools, said a study published yesterday. It found that state school pupils were increasingly turning away - or being encouraged to turn away - from hard A-levels such as maths, chemistry, physics and modern languages and instead taking easier subjects such as media studies, art, design and technology, business studies and psychology.
The Daily Telegraph, The Financial Times
Ethics test 'a must' for student doctors
Medical students should be weeded out of the profession if they fail to show they recognise the importance of ethical standards to doctors, Dame Janet Smith, author of the Shipman inquiry report, said yesterday. Dame Janet made it clear, talking to a conference organised by the General Medical Council, which regulates the profession, that she felt tough action must be taken to ensure potential doctors have a sound awareness of medical ethics.
Controversial fees plan patron Wallace steps down
The Liberal Democrat deputy first minister of Scotland, Jim Wallace, is to stand down, he announced yesterday. As leader of his party in the ruling coalition with Labour in the devolved Scottish parliament, he controversially saw through legislation that allows Scottish universities to charge higher fees to English students. The bill, which he championed, was seen as an attempt to prevent English medical students training in Scotland, then returning to England, but was heavily criticised by anti-fees campaigners.
Ulster to decide vice-chancellor's future
The future of the University of Ulster's vice-chancellor, Gerry McKenna, who has been away from work for six months, is to be discussed by the university's ruling council later this month. The former parliamentary ombudsman Sir Michael Buckley was called in to investigate whistleblowers' complaints about the way Professor McKenna's was leading Ireland's largest university.
Election fever set to continue at university
Elections are set to begin later this month for a non-teaching member of staff to Edinburgh University’s governing body. The University Court has a range of responsibilities, including the approval of spending and the discipline of students. The elected member will be from the clerical, manual or technical staff at the university. The university is currently accepting nominations for the elections, which take place between May 30 and June 9.