Update: 13:45

January 8, 2003

Hodge says white paper will be green in parts
The government's higher education review paper, expected to be published in around ten days' time, will be "extremely radical" and "highly contentious in many places", higher education minister Margaret Hodge told academics and students yesterday. She made her comments during a visit to Nottingham University. In a private seminar with vice-chancellor Sir Colin Campbell, economics professor David Greenaway, who co-wrote a Russell-Group commissioned report calling for the introduction of top-up fees, and students, she said the paper would be "green in parts" and would need to achieve a careful balancing act.

Chemists to honour Orwell with perfect cuppa
Britain's leading chemists are to honour the great English writer George Orwell by creating the perfect cup of tea. Three years before his death, he wrote the celebrated essay A Nice Cup of Tea in which he outlined his recipe for an unbeatable brew. To mark the centenary of Orwell's birth on June 25, the Royal Society of Chemistry is setting some of its best brains to the task of creating the perfect cuppa.

Keeping up appearances is truancy catalyst
One fifth of 15-year-olds play truant because of concerns over their appearance, according to research. The University of the West of England found that 75 per cent of 1,000 adolescents questioned said negative comments about the way they look caused them distress, and 31 per cent refused to take part in classroom debate because of their appearance. Some 20 per cent of 15-year-olds stay away from school due to worries over their looks, the study found.

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