Update: 13:00

February 26, 2003

LibDems would tax the rich to pay for universities
The Liberal Democrats have earmarked up to £1.6 billion for higher education from their alternative budget, announced today. The party would boost academic pay and abolish student tuition fees, reintroduce grants repayable after graduation and entitle students to some social security benefits. The cash would come from a 50 per cent income tax on people earning more than £100,000.

NI increases to cost tertiary education £85 next year
The government's increase in national insurance contributions will cost tertiary education institutions in England an extra £85 million next year, education secretary Charles Clarke revealed in answer to a House of Commons question. He said the extra contributions would cost universities £60 million and further education colleges £25 million more than this year.

Heritage windfall for owners of 13th-century shop
Owners of Britain's oldest known timber-framed shop, in Berkamsted, Hertfordshire, have received £250,000 from English Heritage to repair the 13th-century building. Local builders discovered its age by chance and tests conducted by experts at University College London showed that the timbers were felled some time between 17 and 1297.

Sfefc to run Socts FE maintenance allowance scheme
The Scottish Further Education Funding Council is to run the education maintenance allowance scheme for further education students when it is rolled out across Scotland in 2004-05. Lifelong learning minister Iain Gray said today that the new national programme aimed to help 40,000 young Scots stay on at school or college.

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