Education Diary: Who's for hot seat at Hefce?
Thursday 06 November 2008
Tongues are wagging about who will succeed Professor David Eastwood, the widely admired and liked chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England. This is considered to be a highly influential job, advising ministers, disbursing money to universities, and urging them to do the Government's bidding. But it has become less popular now that ministers intervene so much in universities' affairs, and the money is less than you would earn as a vice chancellor of a university such as Birmingham, where Eastwood is bound. Two names appear to be in the frame: Professor Paul Welling, the Australian who heads Lancaster University, and Professor Steve Smith, Exeter's boss. Smith has said that he doesn't want it. That leaves Welling. But there could, of course, be a dark-horse candidate. An announcement is expected by Christmas.
* While we're on the subject of big beasts in higher education, vice chancellors are gearing up for an election at Universities UK, the umbrella group for higher education. Professor Rick Trainor, president of UUK, is coming to the end of his two-year stint, and two men are expected to throw their hats into the ring. One is Les Ebden, vc of Bedfordshire University and chair of the Million+ group of new universities; the other is our good friend Steve Smith. How many jobs can one chap be in for?
* The anonymous writer who penned the campus novels, "A Campus Conspiracy" and "Degrees 'R' Us", has written a third. Called "The Whistleblower" (Impress Books, £7.99), it is another burlesque full of larger-than-life characters, many of whom we met in the earlier books. And the message is the same: universities are now like factories – pursuing money rather than knowledge.
* In mid-July, we reported how Christine Starkey, 59, a former bursar at Durham University (right), was in the dock accused of pilfering £519,584 from college coffers. Starkey has now pleaded guilty to stealing the reduced total of £488,281 during her stint at St Chad's College. The court heard that Starkey has a previous conviction for stealing £12,000 when credit controller for a car dealership on Teesside. She will be sentenced next month and has been remanded in custody, at the request of her solicitor. "She simply feels the sooner she starts her sentence, the sooner it will be over," he said.
* The social-networking site LinkedIn and its German rival Xing have seen a surge in popularity in recent weeks, with workers looking for favours from online contacts. The sites are seen as a chance to beat the recession. Now recent graduates, affected by the economic crisis, have an equivalent: Talkbiznow.com.
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
New York police shooting: thousands turn out for the funeral of Rafael Ramos
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
- 1 The political parties aren't all the same – which means 2015 will be a 'big-choice' election
- 2 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Operating throughout London and...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...
£35000 per annum + Pension+Bupa: The Jenrick Group: We are recruiting for an e...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K - £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been we...