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February 25, 2008

Muslim dialogue with John Denham and shadow ministers on education

The Muslim News, in conjunction with Labour MP Sadiq Khan, is holding its monthly dialogue between mainly young Muslims and political leaders, on Wednesday, February 27, at 6 pm, with Secretary of State for Innovation Universities and Skills, John Denham, Shadow Minister for Higher Education, Rob Wilson and Liberal Democrats Secretary for Innovation, Universities & Skills, Stephen Williams.

The meeting, at the House of Commons, will focus on various issues pertaining to Universities and Higher Education, including: Guidelines published in January on how to tackle extremism in higher education; ESOL funding (consultation was published in January) and the decision not to fund 2nd degree – its implications on further research and funding of post graduate studies;. Also high on the agenda will be issues relating to the under-performance of ethnic minority students, who are more likely to graduate with lower grades. Do ethnic minorities still suffer from discrimination in university admissions? Has graduate tax contributed to less BMEs into universities? Is this related to the fall in numbers of students from poorer backgrounds since tuition fees were introduced? Are student generally getting value for money? And what of the irrelevance and lack in values of degrees considered by some employers. There is also the issue of bursaries.

The dialogue is the fourth to be held since they were initiated at the beginning of the new Parliamentary year. In October, the meeting was with Tony McNulty, Minister of State (Security, Counter-terrorism, Crime and Policing), Home Office, Dominic Grieve, the Conservative Shadow Attorney General, and Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat’s Shadow Home Secretary before he became party leader.

The second was held with Communities Secretary Hazel Blears, Conservative Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion and Social Action Shadow Minister, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi and Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Communities and Local Government, Andrew Stunell.

The third was held with the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband.

The purpose of the panel discussions, according to Editor of The Muslim News, Ahmed J Versi, who initiated the dialogue, is to “encourage the young Muslims to engage in dialogue with the politicians.”

Sadiq Khan, MP for Tooting, said, “This is the beginning of a mature dialogue between the British Muslims and the country’s leading politicians and policy makers.”

As in previous gatherings, over 120 mainly young Muslims are expected to participate in the dialogue with the Foreign Secretary. The proceedings are being chaired by Mehdi Hasan who is an editor at Channel 4.

For further information contact us on 020 8863 8586 or 077 68 241 325. Please acknowledge The Muslim News when using the press release

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