Update 13:50

February 4, 2003

Transmanche University accord signed
Education secretary Charles Clarke signed an accord for a cross-channel university project to link academics in southern England and northern France today at a meeting in Le Touquet between prime minister Tony Blair and President Jacques Chirac. The "Transmanche University" will be jointly funded by education departments in France and the United Kingdom as part of a £1.4 million education accord. It will connect the University of Kent, three universities in Lille and the University of the Littoral, based at Boulogne, Calais and Dunkirk.

AUT claims London strike closed universities
The Association of University Teachers claimed today that most of London's universities were brought to a standstill by its latest strike over London cost-of-living allowances. Unions including Natfhe, Unison and Amicus want allowances to go up to £4,000 for all academics and support staff.

Bamford moves to Scottish Institute for Enterprise
Sharon Bamford, director of the Edinburgh Technopole, Edinburgh University's science and technology park, is to become director of the Scottish Institute for Enterprise, which promotes enterprise education in Scottish higher education institutions. She will succeed Carl Togneri who is returning to Scottish Enterprise after a two-year secondment to SIE.

Bush asks Congress to raise grants
US president George W. Bush has asked Congress to raise spending on Pell Grants - the federal government's main programme for low-income students - to $12.7 billion (£7.78 billion) in 2004 to eliminate a budget shortfall. The maximum grant will remain $4,000 (£2,450) but the request will support 4.9 million students, 1 million more than when the Bush administration took office.

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