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The government makes no bones of its intentions to kickstart a new era of increased competition and choice in the education sector. The raising of the cap on tuition fees as well as the removal of quotas for universities taking AAB+ students provide the tools to create a more competitive market.
Are universities in England equipped to cope with competition from new providers and less traditional ways of obtaining a degree? Also, the charity sector experiences its own 'pastygate'.
Charity sector umbrella groups are campaigning for a relaxation to the cap on certain tax reliefs, including charitable ones, with effect from 6 April 2013. The Give it back George campaign is in response to the announcement in this year’s budget that the cap is to be set at the greater of £50,000 or 25 per cent of total income of the donor.
A round up of relevant news affecting the business sector, including a comparison of urban cities within the UK and Europe, a new sustainability rating for 3000 public companies plus a new loan guarantee scheme for SMEs.
With the golf season now in full swing, I was thinking about the number of times a client has asked for my opinion on a no-risk tax avoidance scheme overheard at the golf club. Apart from wondering if Mazars should open up offices in golf clubs around the world to offer on the spot wealth warnings, my response is normally if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
With this year’s budget done and dusted, attention has now turned to tax planning strategies — and golf! Tim Davies, UK Head of Tax at Mazars gives a lesson in selecting the right financial shots.
Social media has spread from a network of ordinary people exchanging and sharing information to become an essential tool for governments and businesses to spread their corporate message. David Jones, global CEO of Havas and Euro RSCG Worldwide, confirms how social media has brought corporate social responsibility into the profit and loss statement and why this new form of communicating with clients and partners begins with the necessity of practising an authentic and transparent CSR policy.
Those who ignore social media, do so at their peril. It can and does change people’s minds as Hannah Beecham finds out from the man behind Kofi Annan and David Cameron’s public campaigns.
Parents will be painfully aware of the ever-increasing costs of a university education for their children, especially in England. Throw in the additional cost of accommodation and living expenses and the privilege of a further education is set to come at a high price for many.
With university and college tuition fees set to rise to as much as £9,000 per annum from 1 September 2012, we look at how careful planning can ease the pain.
Reforms to the UK’s higher education system are placing huge pressures on universities. But changes go deeper than simply a matter of charging students more to study for a degree. The sector should brace itself for a series of choices that will ultimately change the delivery of higher education in this country. Those institutions that do not face up to issues of branding, operational effectiveness and the rise of the student as a consumer are simply burying their heads in the sand.
Funding changes set to hit higher education institutions in September 2012 are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of challenges the sector faces. Deborah Benn asks is it time for a radical rethink?
The essential differences between an academy and a local authority-controlled school are the freedom to choose how the money is spent, delivery of the curriculum as well as the teachers’ pay and conditions. But with it comes a whole raft of new responsibilities and getting the balance right between business acumen and education standards is crucial if the model is to work.
The autonomy that comes with academy status is a powerful attraction for many schools looking to grow and expand. Hannah Beecham talks to Worcestershire principal, Liz Quinn, on making a success of it.
Charles Batte was awarded the title of Smaller Earth Ambassador last month in Liverpool, where the 16 finalists were required to carry out a number of tasks over a five-day period including pitching to Sir Richard Branson, Sir Terry Leahy and Martha Lane Fox. Facilitated by Mazars, his role as global ambassador for social entrepreneurship will involve travelling the world for one year meeting captains of industry, world leaders and gain first-hand experience of working in CSR projects across five continents.
Following a gruelling few months involving over 60,000 applicants from 221 different countries, Charles Batte, 24, from Uganda, has emerged as winner of the global social entrepreneurship competition, Your Big Year 2012.
More than a third of secondary schools, 1,580 in total, are currently either operating as academies or are in the process of converting. Becoming an academy requires a greater understanding of the financial consequences and if those schools making the leap are to succeed, then getting the right mix of skills onboard is essential, say Martin Rogers and Barbara Moore.
Academy status gives schools greater freedom and powers. But if your current governing body does not have the right mix of skills to cope, then you may be on course to fail.
Every year, the Open University (OU) educates over a quarter of a million students participating in more than 600 undergraduate and postgraduate courses and professional qualifications. Miles Hedges talks about the OU’s latest technological advances and how this very British institution has developed a truly global reach, alongside its support for well over half of the FTSE 100 companies’ sponsorship of employees who are put through its programmes.
Universities are facing the biggest changes to funding for nearly 100 years. Miles Hedges, Finance Director for the Open University tells Hannah Beecham what that means to students, universities and the economy as a whole.
As an area of outstanding natural beauty and historic coastline, the South West has long been a hotspot for holidaymakers. But get past the cream teas you will find a dynamic business environment that is waving the flag for organic goods and sustainable business ventures.
The South West is staking its claim to become the sustainable business capital of the UK. Hannah Beecham uncovers the region’s green and organic attractions that are drawing a wide range of businesses.
Increasingly, global companies need to report on their human rights procedures. Using the mining industry as an example, this quick webinar guide runs through the key principles that corporations should address to ensure that human rights procedures are implemented within their company strategy.
What can businesses do to address the growing need to incorporate human rights into company strategy? Richard Karmel, Partner and Head of Human Rights Reporting and Mining at Mazars, explains.
Everyone knows it’s a tough environment at the moment and, for many employees, pay rises have stalled as companies seek to control costs. Getting the best value from benefits is therefore an increasingly important area to focus on.
With wage increases in short supply, employee benefits is one way of incentivising staff. Richard Stewart explains how convincing employees to give up part of their salary can actually save them money.
Armed with a friendly and open-minded corporate culture, Sweden is often the go-to choice for prospective entrepreneurs and businesses seeking a pilot market for their new products or services. And standing as the largest recipient of foreign direct investment and imports from the UK in the Nordic region, businesses can capitalise on strong ties the two countries have.
Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent trip to Sweden saw him sampling a slice of the country’s business culture. Hannah Uttley assesses the business prospects for UK investors.
The private finance initiative (PFI) and public private partnership (PPP) are two familiar options used for capital spending projects. But rising costs have placed a question mark over the way projects will be funded in the future. We look at some of the current issues facing players involved.
Capital spending projects are grinding to a halt as funding options dry up. Is the burden of risk faced by the private sector really appreciated or understood by government?
Kitemarks, standards and accreditations can identify a company as being a quality provider in their sector. Most companies say they have benefitted from the process of assessment and inspection, which also gives recommendations for improvements. The work involved often pays dividends by impacting on the bottom line and rejuvenating a sense of common purpose across all staff.
An independent endorsement of your business can improve a company's bottom line. We take a closer look at the benefits of securing the right accreditation.
A list of the forthcoming Mazars seminars taking place over April and May across the UK. Including a Russian perspective for businesses, board effectiveness for financial directors and an update on the charity sector.
Find out all you need to know on Mazars’ upcoming events and seminars including why you should attend and how to register for a place.
Insight Out is designed to deliver insightful reports on accountancy issues that cover all elements of business that may be relevant to our clients in companies large or small. It will work alongside the Business Club, launching later this year, where members will gain access to more detailed reports, seminars and events.
Insight Out is a digital magazine published by Mazars LLP ten times a year to keep you up to speed with the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing business today.