Dear Editor, A recent national report indicates that Staffordshire University has achieved its strongest performance in the annual measures which look at how well universities are doing in providing opportunities for all. This is excellent news for the local area and the region as a whole.
Through its approach to increasing access to Higher Education, Staffordshire University has opened the door to a wide range of interesting and rewarding jobs and life experiences for hundreds of people of all ages who thought that university was not for them.
The spin offs for their families and local communities are significant too - higher education brings greater economic, social and cultural benefits to an area which everybody can benefit from.
For the tenth year in a row Staffordshire University has met or exceeded its targets for the participation of under-represented groups in higher education. This remarkable performance has just been revealed as part of the Performance Indicators for 2006-7, compiled and published annually by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). The figures show that Staffordshire University exceeds its benchmark in helping more young people from low participation areas to enter university.
The figures also indicate that 97.7 per cent all young entrants to a full-time first degree course at Staffordshire come from state schools or colleges and over 90 per cent of them complete their courses.
The review recognises Staffordshire?s success in its activities to engage with neighbourhoods where traditionally few people seriously consider higher education - a 20.5 per cent participation rate for undergraduate students against a location adjusted benchmark of 13.7 per cent.
This is significant because it means that we are helping local people of all ages and backgrounds to achieve the higher level skills they will need for the future and it indicates that there is considerable untapped local talent which will contribute enormously to the future success of the area.
Executive Pro Vice-Chancellor Staffordshire University
It's just not cricket any more
Dear Editor, Cricket is defined in the dictionary as an 'open air game, played with aball, bats and wickets between two sides of 11 players each'; OR meaning NOT to infringe the codes of fair play.
I suppose one could marginally agree with the first definition, when describing 20/20 cricket but it is not really cricket.
Perhaps another name should be sought; such as Score-Score or just plain Slog or best of all Money-Spinner. What a travesty of such a fine deteriorating game; once again and just for the greed of more and more money!!
Douglas J Wathen
Salford Priors, Nr Evesham
I believe Grimley is on the right track
Dear Editor, I was interested to read Terry Grimley's comments regarding the award to Manchester by the Government of £3 billion in grants and loans to fund public transport improvements as previous comments in The Post have leaned to the view that the backlash from the Manchester public about the congestion charging will leave local leaders with egg on their faces.
My opinion is that Terry has pointed us towards the true situation. If you analyse the Manchester congestion charging proposals they are limited to only the morning and evening rush hours. Furthermore, and this is the important point, they will not be introduced until AFTER the public transport improvements have been implemented.
If you visit Manchester today their integrated tram, bus and rail local transport network is much better than ours in Birmingham. They have invested heavily in same and the new money should give them a superb system. One cannot help but think that the Manchester leaders have played a better political game than our own.
Brown needs backbone
Dear Editor, It is very easy to be cynical about the motivation behind aviation taxes - especially as the government, against the advice of the Sustainable Deveopment Commission, seems determined to push ahead with ill-considered plans for a third runway at Heathrow. Nevertheless, taxation 'per plane' rather than 'per passenger' must surely be a more effective (as well as a more equitable) way of applying the 'polluter pays' principle to aviation.
By what right does the Bush administration - with its appalling environmental record, and its scarcely-concealed contempt for international law - presume to dictate UK tax policy? Let us hope that Brown (unlike his predecessor) has enough backbone to stand up to this kind of bullying.
Climate change just another tax
Dear Editor, I fully support the letter by Horatio Burch in Saturday's Post ( June 7th) about no scientific support for Global Warning as man made, after all two thirds of the planet are seas.
Nature actually produces vast sums of heat. Every minute of every day in the world there are 2,000 thunderstorms with 10 million lightning bolts which are hotter than the surface of the sun (figures issued by Nassa).
Nature has other ways of upsetting the climate like the Mt St Helens volcanic eruption in 1980 in which several thousand feet of mountain top was lost and ash was blown 65,000 feet into the air.
When Greenland was discovered it was a green land and has only become ice and snow covered since then, the Romans grew grapes up north so it must have been warm and in the 1600s it was so cold that no crops grew and people starved to death.
So yes, nature does change the planet and humans have only a small effect- yes we do need to be more environmental in our actions -but climate change is just another tax- just like the window tax of years ago (anything to get money out of us).