Update 12:30

April 24, 2002

Invest more or risk 'economic failure', Dearing warns
Lord Dearing, author of the influential 1997 report on higher education, will warn chancellor Gordon Brown this afternoon that he must invest more in education or risk long-term economic failure. Lord Dearing will tell the House of Lords that the government must increase the proportion of gross domestic product being invested in schools, colleges and universities in order to catch up with competitor countries.

Economist tells government to end loan subsidies
Higher interest rates on student loans and top-up tuition fees are the only way to secure sustainable funding for undergraduates and the universities they attend, MPs heard today. Economist Nick Barr, of the London School of Economics, and Iain Crawford, formerly of the LSE, told the education and skills select committee that the most important step was for the government to stop subsidising student loans.

Scots freedom bill to exempt universities
The Scottish Parliament is today expected to pass an amendment to its radical freedom of information bill, exempting universities from having to disclose incomplete research. Universities Scotland warned that institutions could otherwise be put “at a serious competitive disadvantage” in attracting research contracts and staff.

Cancer pioneer to give Huxley Lecture
Cancer genetics pioneer Sir David Lane gives this year’s Huxley Lecture, on the key to finding a cure for cancer, at the University of Birmingham this afternoon. 

Lectures cancelled over Austria's planned reforms
Austrian universities will be hit by a strike over planned reforms today after the higher education trade unions confirmed that it would still go ahead despite indications that the government may reconsider some of the most controversial changes.  Karl-Franzens University in Graz has suspended all lectures for a week in protest over the new law. 

Unpublished Nobel poem discovered in Chile
The Fundación Delia del Carril in Chile has announced the discovery of a manuscript with an unpublished poem written by Nobel literature prizewinner Pablo Neruda in 1973 and dedicated to Chile's young Communists. Neruda is said to have written the poem at the request of leftwing students at the Universidad de Chile on the occasion of the university's elections just a few days before the Pinochet coup. 

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