Notices

Contents of this section:

[Note. An asterisk denotes a reference to a previously published or recurrent entry.]

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ASHMOLEAN MUSEUM

On the recommendation of the Visitors of the Ashmolean Museum, the General Board has appointed M.J. VICKERS, MA, Senior Assistant Keeper in the Department of Antiquities, as deputy for P.R.S. Moorey, MA, D.Phil., Fellow of Wolfson and Keeper of the Department of Antiquities, for the period from 1 September 1996 to 1 April 1997, during which Dr Moorey has been granted sabbatical leave.

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GIBBS LAW PRIZES 1996

The Prize has been awarded to BEN MCFARLANE, University College.

Proxime accessit: COLIN D. WEST, St Anne's College.

Book prizes: ROBERT J. FISH, St Anne's College, and PAUL GREATOREX, Christ Church.

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THE CASE FOR INCREASED INVESTMENT IN UNIVERSITIES: THE CVCP 1996 PUBLIC EXPENDITURE SURVEY SUBMISSION

The Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals submitted in April 1996 for the 1996 Public Expenditure Survey a statement of the key needs of universities for 1997–8 and beyond. Noting that the Government's Budget announcement in November will need to be judged against this statement of needs, the CVCP has now issued a summary of its submission, the executive summary of which is published below for the information of members of the University.

Copies of the full summary are available from the Information Office, External Relations Office, University Offices, Wellington Square (telephone: (2)70010).

Executive summary

The CVCP's 1996 PES submission seeks:

—to avoid a policy vacuum while the Dearing Inquiry is under way;

—to reverse cuts to capital budgets;

—stable funding per student;

—investment in university staff;

—investment to clear the maintenance backlog, pay for health and safety compliance, and improve facilities for disabled students;

—changes in taxation that would benefit universities.

The universities' contribution to the UK

Universities are of enduring national value. They turn over £10bn a year and bring important economic, social, and cultural benefits.

They:

—educate and train people throughout their lives;

—do most of UK basic research;

—provide all medical, dental, and veterinary education;

—innovate, and bring in new knowledge, ideas, and information;

—employ 250,000 people directly;

—develop land and buildings;

—purchase goods and services;

—bring over £1bn of foreign exchange a year;

—contribute to culture and community well-being.

Investment in universities generates wealth. Universities' and colleges' gross economic output is over £20bn a year. Universities can raise UK competitiveness in an increasingly international market.

In the last ten years, universities have expanded student numbers and increased research income enormously. They need a favourable public policy and funding environment to build on these achievements.

CVCP wants the Dearing Inquiry to recommend a funding system that can deliver expansion with quality. The present funding system cannot do this. It puts success at risk. There have been efficiency gains, but university staff, students, buildings, and facilities have borne the brunt.

Government plans will make things worse. Spending per student, £6,858 in 1989–90, will fall to £4,365 in 1998–9. This 36 per cent cut over ten years lies at the heart of the funding crisis. Capital budgets will also fall by 48 per cent in England in 1998–9. The Private Finance Initiative cannot bridge this gap.

This fall in resources is incompatible with maintaining quality. Staff–student ratios are rising. Central resources, especially libraries, are strained. There is a huge backlog of capital projects. Health and safety requirements impose onerous burdens.

The Government should invest, in 1997–8 and beyond, in the following areas.

Funding per student

The decline must stop if the quality of their education is to be preserved.

Capital investment

—The 1995 Budget cuts in capital allocations for England must be restored;

—Universities need over £1bn to clear their maintenance backlog.

Investment in equipment

—To repair, replace, and update obsolete teaching and research equipment;

—To halt the decline in spending on books per student;

—To maintain the UK's position in `leading edge' research;

—£100m for new, technology-based learning systems.

Investment in people

Staff, upon whom the UK's reputation for excellence in higher education depends, have delivered the expanded higher education system at greatly reduced unit cost. Despite prodigious productivity gains, staff pay has trailed behind.

Investment in health and safety

—£133m to meet Health and Safety Regulations;

—£170m to meet compliance costs of Fire Regulations.

Investment in facilities for the disabled

£50m to target projects for disabled students.

Beneficial tax changes

VAT relief should extend to university buildings and PFI projects universities undertake.

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CONCERT

St John's College and Colin Carr

THE BORROMEO QUARTET will perform the following at 8.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 27 November, in the Garden Quadrangle Auditorium, St John's College (entrance from Parks Road): Mozart, K.428; Kirchner, No. 2 (1958); Schubert, Death and the Maiden.

Admission is by tickets, which will be free and available in advance.