World News: April 2009

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Obama introduces first part of US education reform plan

The UK government’s recent interim report on ‘Digital Britain’ makes a powerful argument for universal access to modern technology as a key driver of the country’s economic prospects. Universal access to high speed broadband by 2012 will be vital for business, not only to continue to transform business processes, but also to deliver the education and skills required. Connecting the last 40% of the population to the digital society gives a huge opportunity to raise education standards and provide powerful incentives to continue learning throughout life, across the population, the report said.

The report prepared by BECTA said, never has it been more important to provide all of those facing the challenges of the labour market with the support they will need. It is clear that digital connectivity and discriminating use of digital technology have a vital role to play.

Call for free degrees for jobless
People made unemployed by the recession should be allowed to enrol on part-time degree courses for free, says a think tank representing new universities. Million+ says fees paid by part-time students are ‘a barrier they should not have to face’. It is urging the government to provide the funding to enable fees to be waived for those on job seekers allowance or short-time working.The government said it was spendingon developing the workforce. Million+, which represents new universities across the UK, says allowing some people to enrol on higher education courses for free would cost the government £400m, but would bring in
revenue of £523m. Unemployed people who go on to gain a degree could stand to gain in excess of £95,000 over their working lives, the think-tank estimates

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