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www.london-student.net ·1stMarch 2010

LondonStudent

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HEFCE figures declare 41%of LSE classrooms‘unfit for purpose’

• Head of LSE disputes claim of unfit facilities, citing use of old data as misleading

By DANSAWNEY ▪ News Editor

LSE Director Howard Davies has disputed figures published in the Guardian that suggested 41% of the School’s classrooms and lec- ture theatres were ‘unfit for pur- pose’.

Addressing students at LSESU’s

UGM on Thursday February 18th, Davies stated that the figures were “three years out of date” and that since their initial publication, the “buildings listed have been out of use or have been refurbished.” He also pointed to the opening of the New Academic Building, a develop- ment opened in 2008, as evidence that LSE had taken steps to mod- ernise its facilities. The figures were originally col-

lated by the Higher Education Funding Council

for England

(HEFCE) as part of a wider database that categorised the state of all fa- cilities at UK universities. The

HEFCEwas forcedtomake the findings public after the

Guardianmade a formal legal challenge for the information

Photo: TONZ

database was originally intended to help institutions analyse the condi- tions of their own estates in com- parison with those of

their

competitors and was not meant for wider

distribution. However, HEFCE was forced to make the

findings public after the Guardian made a formal legal challenge for the information, having initially re- quested it two and a half years ago. Other universities that came off

badly in the report were Imperial, formerly of the University of Lon-

don, where 12% of the non-residen- tial buildings were found to be ‘in- operable’, and City University, where 41% of the student residences were found to be unsuitable for their intended use.

Speaking to LSE student paper

The Beaver, Julian Robinson, Direc- tor of Estates at LSE said “There has been significant investment in recent years in additional buildings and capital development including a £71m New Academic Building opened in 2008 and a £36m New Students’ Centre scheduled to open in 2012. Our compact location in central London provides us with certain challenges but we have a 10 year £200m capital plan dedicated to create a world class campus com- mensurate with our academic stand- ing.” Andrew Cooke, a student at LSE,

told London Student that “Generally speaking the classrooms aren’t that bad. Loads of stuff has been moved to modern rooms and the New Aca- demic Building seems to have been well received. There are still a few exceptions though, especially the St.Clements Building which is pretty bad.”

ProminentMuslimleader joinsUCLAbdulmutallab panel

By ROSAWILD

The panel due to investigate De- troit bomber Umar Farouk Abdul- mutallab’s time at UCL has been announced and will include one of Britain’s most prominent Muslim leaders.

NEWSIN BRIEF

More courses needed for over-50’s

A Universities UK report has claimed that universities must offer more courses for people aged 50 and above.

The report suggest that Universi-

ties must consider setting up courses in areas where there is a high density of retired people, and offer a wide- range of modules from human rights to healthy ageing. There was a 58% rise in the number of first-year part- time undergraduates and postgradu- ates aged 40 and over from 1998 to 2007.

By ZAFER KHATTAK DrMuhammad Abdul Bari of the

Muslim Council of Britain joins sev- eral UCL staff members, academics from Oxford University and Man- chesterMetropolitan and the British council’s director of strategy on the seven-member panel, which has been appointed by UCL to examine

Mandelson asked to intervene in Leeds re- structuring row

Lord Mandelson has been called upon to mediate a dispute over restructuring at Leeds University, meaning that £45million of cuts that his department is seeking at the University have to be put on hold whilst the situation is investigated.

A staff member called on Mandel-

son to intervene in his historic capac- ity as ‘Visitor’ to the university, one of his responsibilities as Lord President of the Council. The role involves en- suring that decisions have been made in accordance with an institution’s internal regulations.

By DAN SAWNEY

the possibility that Abdulmutallab became radicalised while studying in London, and to identify any is- sues of radical Islam within the uni- versity. Nigerian-born Abdulmutallab, an

engineering graduate, was arrested on Christ- mas day

after failing to detonate explosives smuggled onto a flight

from

Amsterdam to Detroit. Dr Bari has served as Secretary

General of the MCB since 2006 and has regularly spoken out against re- ligious extremism, calling the 7/7 bombers “idiots” and “not trueMus- lims”. He has also stated that Britain could benefit from adopting more Muslim values and criticised harsh anti-terror legislation and Islamo- phobia in the media. “All Europeans, including those

who are Muslim, are right to worry about the issue of homegrown ter- rorism” he stated in an online arti- cle,

The panel is expected to focus on

Abdulmutallab’s time as president of the UCL Islamic Society. His family claim that he be- came involved with Al- Q a e d a

Several of his friends have insisted he was not radicalised while in Britain. In an article announcing the es-

Photo: NET EFEKT

tablishment of the inquiry, UCL President Malcolm Grant called for a “sober and thorough assessment” and insisted that UCL will not “ac- cept restrictions on freedom of speech… we will continue to en- courage vigorous debate.”

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while at UCL, though it is alleged he may have been recruited afterwards while studying Arabic in Yemen.

“Our right to security and life is paramount, as is the

need to inhabit a space free of prejudice and suspicion.”

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