Update: 12:15

April 18, 2002

Funding chiefs mull future shape of UK HE
Funding chiefs meeting in Manchester today are considering the shape of higher education for the next ten years. Universities will be expected to excel in at least one of four areas - teaching, research, reach-out or widening participation. The Higher Education Funding Council is also considering whether to change the way in which students from non-traditional backgrounds are funded.

FE union rejects 'insulting' 1.5% pay offer
Further education college lecturers' union leaders have threatened to call a two-day strike after rejecting an "insulting" 1.5 per cent pay offer from employers. Unions on the National Joint Forum for FE pay have asked for a rise of at least 2.5 per cent. But the Association of Colleges, representing employers, has said the extra money from the government is not nearly enough to cover the cost of the unions' pay claim.

Spending review to benefit education
The government is set to spend more of national income on education with universities and colleges likely to share the spoils, chancellor Gordon Brown announced in yesterday's budget. In a clear sign that higher education may benefit from this summer's government spending review, one of the chancellor's key themes was encouraging an entrepreneurial culture which will benefit universities spinning off their own high technology ventures.

If you can't stand the heat... curl up and die
Even a warm spring day can produce a sufficient increase in temperature to cause extra deaths, new research showed today. Heat begins to have an impact on death rates at just 19C and once above 21.5C, death rate increases by almost 3.3 per cent for every degree rise in temperature, a study has found. Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine suggested that hot weather warnings should be issued when predicted temperatures reach 21.5C - or even 19C.

Major redevelopment planned at the V&A
The Victoria & Albert Museum is to undergo a £150 million overhaul in its biggest redevelopment for 50 years. Museum chiefs plan to redesign the layout and construct new areas including new Medieval and Renaissance galleries, which are being part-funded by a £1 million anonymous donation.

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