Update: 12:40

February 19, 2003

Former Exeter v-c lambasts university managers
Universities should be more like supermarkets and offer students satisfaction or their money back, Sir Geoffrey Holland, former vice-chancellor of Exeter University and a past permanent secretary at the Department for Education said last night. He lambasted university senior managers, saying few sectors of society were "so amateur, so apparently unconcerned" about leadership skills. Sir Geoffrey, a long time advocate of greater consumer choice in higher education, told The Queen's Anniversary Prizes celebration dinner that supermarkets, open all hours, gave people access to a large range of services regardless of their background. "That’s the 21st-century way of widening participation and access. Why shouldn’t universities be like that," he said.

Dundee college offers TB screening
Staff and students at a Dundee college are being offered tuberculosis screening after it was revealed today that a lecturer who died last week had contracted the infection. Over 400 people at the further edeucation college who had contact with Peter Allan, a 39-year-old part-time IT lecturer, are being contacted by NHS Tayside.

Botanist discovers new British plant species
St Andrews University's plant scientist Richard Abbott has discovered Britain's newest plant species, a weed that sets seed only three months after germinating, growing at the edge of a car park near York station. Dr Abbott, who reports the find in Watsonia , the journal of the Botanical Society of the British Isles, says: "The next few years will be critical as to whether it becomes a fully established component of the British flora or a temporary curiosity."

Unionist's faith in Good Friday Agreement ebbs
Unionist support for the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland has plunged to an all-time low, a survey by Queen's University Belfast and the Rowntree Trust claims today. Just over one-third would not vote 'Yes' in a new referendum, and even though 60 per cent are still happy to see the agreement work, support has dropped to its lowest point since it was signed in April 1998.

Kate Adie debates war at Warwick tonight
Veteran war correspondent Kate Adie will take part in a debate about the ethics of reporting on international conflicts at Warwick University this evening.

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