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Running commentary

Higher Education Minister Bill Rammell was seen to crumple up his speech during dinner, no doubt alarming advisers. But when he stood up he was right on message - UUK's message, that is. He told vice-chancellors in no uncertain terms that the Government did not want to see the umbrella organisation disbanded. But, like Education Secretary Alan Johnson the next day, he appeared not to know that his speech had been widely trailed as an appeal to universities to be more vigilant in rooting out potential terrorists among their students.

diary@thes.co.uk

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