Lord Mandelson, who as Britain's business secretary has pushed deep budget cuts and other policy changes opposed by many academic leaders, fought back Thursday with a speech in which he said higher education was not receiving more than its share of cuts and that academics needed to be more open to change, The Guardian reported. Academics "think they have a right to be set in aspic in what they do," he said. "They are using the argument about spending reductions as a screen or a cloak behind which resistance to any sort of change and reform can be conducted." He also repeated his call for universities to offer more two-year degrees (in contrast to the traditional three-year program in Britain), saying that such programs could economically respond to increased student demand.
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