LONDON, April 2 (Reuters) – The number of overseas students
at English universities has fallen for the first time in nearly
30 years as students choose the United States and Australia
instead due to tougher visa rules and higher fees, research
showed on Wednesday.
Numbers fell to 307,205 in 2012 from 311,800 in 2011, the
first drop in 29 years, analysis by the Higher Education Funding
Council for England (HEFCE) showed, despite foreign student
numbers rising in other countries.
LONDON (Reuters) – British lawmakers raised fears on Monday for the future of the BBC World Service, the world’s largest international broadcaster, as funding shifts from government grants to financing by domestic television user fees.
Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee said it was concerned that a change in funding and a lack of presence on the BBC’s executive or management boards would erode the on-air and online influence of the radio and television service.
LONDON, March 27 (Reuters) – A group of Scottish financiers
came out in support of independence on Thursday to counter a
flood of warnings over Scotland going it alone, cautioning that
staying within the United Kingdom could mean losing European
George Mathewson, former head of the Royal Bank of Scotland
and chairman of Toscafund, and five other current and
former Scottish financial players raised the possible risks of
remaining in the United Kingdom in a letter to a newspaper.
LONDON (Reuters) – More women are sitting on the boards of Britain’s biggest companies but the glass ceiling is yet to crack, with most top jobs still held by men and companies needing to do more for gender balance, a report showed on Wednesday.
The latest of three British government reports on gender in boardrooms found women now hold a fifth, or 20.7 percent, of board positions in FTSE 100 companies, up from 17.3 percent in April 2013 and 12.5 percent in 2011, but short of a 2015 target.
LONDON, March 24 (Reuters) – As the battle over Scottish
independence heats up, residents of three groups of remote
Scottish islands, some of which straddle oil and gas fields
northeast of Britain, are calling for their own breakaway votes
and greater autonomy.
Islanders from Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles have
lodged a petition with the Scottish parliament asking for a vote
on Sept. 25, a week after a referendum on whether Scotland
should end its ties with the United Kingdom after 307 years.
LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David Cameron urged Scots on Friday to heed warnings from the head of the Bank of England and business leaders about the uncertain consequences of voting for independence in a referendum in six months’ time.
Cameron told the Scottish Conservative Party conference in Edinburgh that the government faced a “monumental battle” to keep Scotland as part of Britain at the September 18 referendum.
LONDON (Reuters) – Veteran British Labour politician Tony Benn, who was born into the aristocracy but became a champion of the left, has died aged 88, his family said on Friday.
Benn was a member of parliament for 50 years and a cabinet minister for 11 years. A divisive figure at the peak of his career, in later years he became a public favourite as a straight talker, usually seen with his trademark pipe.
LONDON (Reuters) – More than five centuries after he went down fighting, England’s medieval monarch Richard III is in the middle of another pitched battle – this time over where his newly discovered remains should be re-buried.
The Plantagenet Alliance, made up of Richard’s distant descendants, has asked England’s High Court to rule on plans to re-bury their ancestor’s remains in Leicester, the city where they were found two years ago under a municipal car park.
LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) – One of Britain’s most powerful
union leaders, Bob Crow, died suddenly on Tuesday, prompting a
flow of tributes from even his ideological enemies with whom he
fought bitterly during a series of crippling strikes on London’s
underground rail network.
The Rail Maritime and Transport workers’ union (RMT) said
Crow, 52, its blunt-talking general secretary, died in the
early hours of Tuesday. A spokesman would not confirm reports
that he died in hospital after suffering a heart attack.
LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) – The Royal Bank of Scotland
and other Scottish-based financial firms might have to
move their headquarters to England if Scotland becomes
independent and joins the European Union, Bank of England
Governor Mark Carney said on Tuesday.
Carney said if Scotland chose to break away from the rest of
the United Kingdom at a Sept. 18 referendum, EU law stipulated
it would need to guarantee deposits in England and Scotland
where many have their largest customer bases.