Leading Article: Global challenge

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Increasing the number of students in higher education, forging new relationships between employers and universities and widening participation are the priorities for John Denham, the Secretary for Innovation, Universities and Skills, as laid out in his annual grant letter to the Higher Education Funding Council. We agree these are vital, but we believe the global competitiveness of British universities is important too. It would be a mistake for the Government to neglect the UK's comparative performance in favour of widening access. We shouldn't be complacent when China is set on turning its top universities into the world's best within a decade.