These are some of the education stories we found interesting between the 4th and 12th April 2013.
Donations to UK universities from alumni reach record levels (The Guardian)
The Guardian reported this week that British universities have received the highest sum of donations from their alumni. In total, British universities and colleges received a total of £774m in 2011-2012 which is a 14% increase on the previous year.
Students elect first union president who hasn’t been to university ‘because taking three years out wasn’t attractive to her’. (The Daily Mail)
The National Union of Students (NUS) elected their new president this week. Toni Pearce is the first president to be elected who has not attended university. She is currently serving as the union’s Vice President for Education. She said that “taking three years out wasn’t attractive to her”. In her new role she aims to find more funding for apprentices, college and postgraduate students.
University of South Wales opens for 33,500 students (BBC Education News)
A new university- the largest higher education institution in Wales has officially opened. The University of South Wales has been created after the merger of Glamorgan and Newport universities. It will make the university the sixth largest in the UK with campuses in Cardiff, Newport and Treforest. Over 33,000 students will attend the university with over 500 undergraduate courses available to study.
Labour warns over £3.6bn school repairs backlog (The Telegraph)
Labour has warned that children face being taught in overcrowded classrooms in need of repair because of a £3.6 billion ‘black hole’ in the budget for repairs on schools. Data published following Freedom of information requests suggest local councils are facing a repairs backlog on schools because of budget cuts. Labour obtained figures from 89 education authorities in England and found that over £3.6bn worth of maintenance work was still needed to bring schools up to scratch.
Education vouchers ‘give parents greater choice’ (The Times)
The Institute for Economic Affairs and the Centre for Market Reform of Education have argued that failing schools should be abolished. They also said that government money should go to schools which are more popular with parents. The new proposals call for parents to be given vouchers to pay for a school meaning more opportunities are available for pupils from a poorer background. The new proposals have been suggested in a book released called Incentivising Excellence: school choice and education quality.