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.
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Russian hack of President Obama's emails worse than previously admitted
Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
UK weather: Britain braced for snow to replace sun as arctic air mass moves in
Nepal earthquake: US Pastor Tony Miano sparks outcry by suggesting Nepalis should convert and not rebuild their 'pagan shrines'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
£40000 - £48000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Engineer - Windo...
£25 - 32,500K (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Produ...
£16000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning independent ...
£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...