Hawking Wheely Leaving?

Stephen Hawking, the world-famous author of A Brief History of Time, is considering leaving Cambridge for a lucrative job in Canada.

funding cuts maths PETER MANDELSON stephen hawking

Stephen Hawking is considering leaving Cambridge for Canada.

He is said to be frustrated with government cuts to universities, which he believes are hampering scientific progress.

Fears were raised after the best-selling author of A Brief History Of Time criticised the Government for restricting research grants.

Late last year the Government announced it would make roughly £1 BILLION in cuts to the higher education budget.

It was speculated that Professor Hawking, who has been at Cambridge University since 1962, would move to the Perimeter Institute for theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario.

His former colleague Neil Turok, an authority on mathematical physics, moved to the institute in 2008 and has said the ''door is open'' for Professor Hawking to join him permanently.

The former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics will spend two months working with Professor Turok at the Perimeter Institute this summer, and hopes to make the move permanent.

His spokesman said Prof Hawking “remained heavily critical of the Government's policy on science funding”.

And his graduate assistant Sam Blackburn, who helps the wheelchair-bound Hawking in his work also fuelled the rumours: “Professor Hawking is considering a move but it would depend on whether his trip to the institute is successful.”

But the University today quashed the allegations, saying Professor Hawking had no plans to leave either the institution or the UK.

A spokesman said: ''Professor Stephen Hawking is Director of Research in the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology in the Department of Applied mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge.

''He will remain so in the long term.

''As part of his research he expects to make annual visits to the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada where his former colleague Neil Turok works.''