Hefce needs Commons touch

At a recent high-level meeting in Parliament about universities, one delegate remarked that, of course, the Higher Education Funding Council for England would no longer fund research in universities after the next research assessment exercise. More interestingly, an insider tells us that no one in the room showed the slightest flicker of surprise, and no one stood up to defend the beleaguered funding council. It would appear that Hefce's new chief executive, David Eastwood, who was announced this week, needs to go on a major charm offensive in the House of Commons.

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