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The Independent Online
Who says British universities are not fizzing with entrepreneurial spirit? The business school at the University of Central England is positively frothing with it. Its new dean is Upkar Pardesi, who has recently returned from a British Council trip to India where he was drumming up valuable overseas students. "There was a tremendous amount of interest," says the Kenyan-born Pardesi, who is professor of enterprise development. It helped of course that this academic entrepreneur is of Indian - nay Punjabi - origin. Not only did he help to recruit Indian students, he also hopes to do deals with Indian business schools. The idea is to accredit the UCE business programme in India for two years and then have students come to the business school in Birmingham as undergraduates. "We're not into franchising because you lose control," he says. "It is far better to go for accrediting of your own programme." The university is also developing MBA programmes for overseas students. Third World countries are interested in how Britain is developing its inner city areas, according to Pardesi, and in the kind of work the professor has been doing for the past 10 years - developing pioneering schemes to help small and medium sized businesses to grow.

Another new dean at UCE is John Rouse, of the faculty of law and social sciences, who was appointed to his new job from the ranks of ordinary lecturers. As if that wasn't unusual enough, Professor Rouse survived a bout of leukemia and was off work for 11 months in the academic year 1993-94. "I stared death in the face," says Rouse. "I had a bone marrow transplant and have recovered. I am deeply grateful to the university for putting their faith in me."

The University of Brighton has appointed seven new professors including John McKean, of the school of architecture and interior design, whose brother is a professor of architecture at the University of Dundee. Another new professor is Howard Rush, head of research development at the centre for research in innovation management, who specialises in complex product systems.

At Goldsmiths', University of London, Bill McCormack has been made professor of literary history and head of the English department. Author of books on Irish literature (From Burke to Beckett and a biography of Sheridan Le Fanu) Professor McCormack is also a poet, though he pens his poetry under the name Hugh Maxton. "I suppose it's a desire for privacy and so I'm not asked questions all the time," he says. "It's an open secret." Tomorrow Goldsmiths' English department is launching a new poetry magazine called Metre, an international venture with editors in London, Prague and Dublin. If you want a fix of Irish culture, attend the conference called "Elizabeth Bowen: London, Ireland, modernism" which the department is hosting on Saturdayn