Today's news

January 29, 2007

US business schools top world rankings
American business schools continue to dominate the top of the table for global MBA programmes. For the third year running the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton school was followed by Columbia, Harvard and Stanford. The London Business School maintains its ranking in fifth position, but the French school Insead, which now has an offshoot in Singapore, is the only other European school to make it into the top ten. The University of Cambridge's Judge school has shown a spectacular rise to 15th after lying 42nd two years ago, overtaking the Said school at the University of Oxford, which this year is at 19 after being ranked 25th in 2005.
The Guardian, The Financial Times

University form will ask about parents' education
University applicants will be asked to declare whether their parents have a degree. The Government wants the information for its campaign to attract more working-class students into higher education, but critics say that it could be used to discriminate against middle-class candidates and raises suspicion of social engineering. The new question, asking whether parents “have been through higher education”, will appear on application forms from next year. The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service will use it to build up a detailed picture of every applicant’s background.
The Times

Gifted boys shun taster courses for university
Summer schools are struggling to attract gifted boys from inner cities because the youngsters do not want to be seen by their peers as "swots", an educational trust warned yesterday. Fewer than 30 per cent of the teenagers who put their names forward for the schools - which provide "taster" courses for leading universities - are boys. This has led to fears that they are being put off by a street culture that labels clever children as "boffins". A report by The Sutton Trust to be published today says there is an urgent need to reach boys in the inner cities or from families with no tradition of higher education who are failing to reach their potential.
The Daily Telegraph

Cuts threaten services at British Library
It is at the heart of Britain's cultural, literary and political life. Each day writers, academics and researchers join those who have crossed the world to access the fruits of every publication produced in the UK and Ireland, from the humblest tome to the Magna Carta. But according to the British Library, government-imposed spending cuts may soon put the proud traditions of a national institution at risk. Ahead of the Treasury's 2007 spending review, library officials have drawn up a briefing paper outlining measures they would have to take if the widely speculated cuts of between 5 per cent and 7 per cent come to fruition.
The Guardian

Gates boost for Third World centre
A new centre aimed at eradicating disease and poverty in the Third World is to be established in Scotland after a funding boost from Bill Gates, the Microsoft billionaire. The Scottish Centre for International Development, at Glasgow University, will bring together more than 40 academics from fields including health, environmental management and education to tackle problems in developing countries. The centre, which received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will initially concentrate on Africa. Peter Holmes, pro vice-principal of the university and chairman of the new centre's board of management, said: "The emphasis is on partnerships - it's not western knowledge being pushed at Africa."
The Scotsman

From the weekend's papers:

Saturday

  • Cambridge place for mother who quit school at 16. The Daily Telegraph
  • Pope's Latinist pronounces death of the language. The Daily Telegraph
  • Edinburgh scientist on award shortlist for research centre. The Scotsman

Sunday

  • Foreign postgraduates wishing to study physics or biochemistry will be subject to tougher checks. The Observer

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Recent controversy over the future directions of both Stanford and Melbourne university presses have raised questions about the role of in-house publishing arms in a world of commercialisation, impact agendas, alternative facts – and ever-diminishing monograph sales. Anna McKie reports

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