3rd Year Week 2 TT06

Topic: Why British universities must attract more students from overseas

Translate the following first eight paragraphs into Chinese

Two-year degree will raise costs and workloads, say universities

The Times April 19, 2006

UNIVERSITIES will press the Government to increase their levels of funding so that they can deliver fast-track degrees.

While students and lecturers welcomed the greater flexibility, concerns were raised that universities could lose out over the shorter courses without government compensation. The Times reported yesterday that students would be able to gain an honours degree in only two years as part of a “study anytime” revolution for higher education.


With the introduction of top-up fees, due in the autumn, five colleges will offer the compressed honours degree courses. The move is designed to encourage applications from poorer students, who are put off by the £3,000-a-year tuition fee, payable after graduation.

From September, students at Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, will be able to study English, geography, law and product design in two years instead of three.

With more than a third of its students coming from working class homes and 97 per cent from state schools, the former polytechnic is at the forefront of widening participation. The undergraduates will pay £6,000 for the two-year course, instead of £9,000, and will incur a year’s less living expenses.

“We see this as something the sector has to accommodate in the new market,” said Stephen Williams, from Staffordshire University, who is overseeing the two-year pilot.

Details are being finalised at Staffordshire, Derby, Leeds Metropolitan, Northampton and the Medway Partnership, but Dr Williams said that the degrees would be sustainable only if the Government’s funding formulae were flexible.

“The Higher Education Funding Council (Hefce) for England is reviewing the funding methods which we hope will take into account the greater flexibility — because the irony is that universities are encouraged to be more flexible, but Hefce is mitigating against it,” he said. The five colleges are being paid to conduct the pilots, but Hefce said that, if the courses amounted to less revenue, few universities would be willing to offer them.

“That is indeed one of the questions which will have to be asked,” a spokesman said.

Mary Bousted, the general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said that the new degrees would most likely appeal to those hoping to minimise their debts.

“One of the problems is that students get taught for a very small part of the year — some students can be taught for less than half a year — so it would be worth trying to have a more concentrated year,” she said.

Sally Hunt, the general secretary of the Association of University Teachers, said: “Staff have seen their workloads increase over the last couple of decades and these proposals will do little to alleviate any concerns that their workloads are going to be addressed.”

Tony Blair announced yesterday a £7 million recruitment drive to stem the flow of overseas students to new universities, especially in the Far East.

He wants to attract 100,000 more to Britain over the next five years and to encourage links between British universities and colleges and those overseas.