THES reporters assess the impact of Labour's first year of government on higher and further education and unravel how they have sold their policies to the country
May 1 1997: Labour elected with 179-seat majority.
July 2: Publication of Kennedy report on widening participation.
July 10: First reading of Student Loans Bill to sell existing loan debt to the private sector.
July 23: Publication of Dearing report and announcement of means-tested tuition fees, abolition of maintenance grants and income- contingent loans system.
August 13: Gap year students exempted from tuition fees.
September 23: Extra Pounds 165 million announced for higher education in 1998-99. Blunkett lifts cap on 18 to 25-year-old participation rate from 30 per cent to 35 per cent by 2001.
September 29 to October 3: Rout of tuition-fee rebels at the Labour Party conference.
November 11: An extra Pounds 83 million announced for further education.
November 26: Teaching and Higher Education Bill introduced in House of Lords. Peers denounce it as draconian.
January 1998: Student Loans Bill becomes law.
February 25: The Learning Age green paper published with responses to Dearing and Kennedy. Individual Learning Accounts and University for Industry are main parts of lifelong learning strategy.
March 11: MPs overturn amended Teaching and Higher Education Bill.
March 17: Budget announces Pounds 50 million University Challenge Fund to commercialise research. Pounds 250 million more given to education.
March 31: University for Industry prospectus launch.
April 6: Pounds 3.5 billion New Deal for long-term unemployed, offering work or education and training.