Charities and universities 'investing in arms trade'

April 6, 2004

Bias to state school pupils unjustified
University admissions tutors should have the flexibility to discriminate for single applicants but not groups, a government advisory panel says today. While A-level grades should not be the sole guide to selecting students, the review of university admissions headed by Steven Schwartz says discrimination in favour of state school pupils by automatically offering them places on reduced grades cannot be justified. The review's interim findings urges universities to consider other factors - such as school and family background and non-academic experience - alongside actual and predicted exam results. US-style standardised tests could be used to identify the small group of students whose abilities were not revealed by A-levels. Consultation on today's report will conclude next month, with final recommendations, described as a voluntary code of best practice for admissions departments, produced later this year.
( Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Times, Independent )

Degree course for Kent police trainees
Police recruits will take a degree in policing as part of their training under a scheme announced yesterday. All new officers joining the Kent police force this autumn will be sent to Canterbury Christ Church University College for a year to study for a certificate of higher education.
( Times )

Russian scientist found guilty of treason
A Russian think-tank member was convicted of treason yesterday, raising fears of a resurgence of Soviet-style tactics in the country and alarming the scientific community. Igor Sutyagin, a scholar at Moscow's USA and Canada Institute, was convicted of selling information on nuclear submarines and missile warning systems to a British company that investigators claim was a cover for the CIA. He faces up to 20 years in prison.
( Daily Telegraph )

Italian poet has lost his head
Petrarch, the Italian writer who defined the sonnet, is at centre of a medieval mystery. Scientists from Padua University who have been examining what they thought were Petrarch's remains have discovered that the skull belongs to someone else, possibly a woman. The suspects in a literary whodunnit spanning almost 700 years include a bibulously larcenous 17th-century friar and a supposedly clumsy 19th-century anatomist.
( Guardian )

Top-up fees are only a temporary fix
Brenda Gourley, Open University vice-chancellor, says that top-up fees must take account of a changing education environment.
( Independent )

Bournemouth v-c criticises government arithmetic
Gillian Slater, vice-chancellor of Bournemouth University, talks about her high-profile stand against variable top-up fees.
( Guardian )

NUS top-up fees activism under the spotlight
The views of student activists and the NUS president-elect about where the fight against top-up fees goes now and how the union must change.
( Guardian )

Offa in for a rough ride
How the top-up fees bill is likely to fare in the House of Lords.
( Guardian )

Association of Colleges chief questions budget
John Brennan, chief executive of the Association of Colleges, says that the education budget leaves colleges far short of the funding they need.
( Guardian )

Colleges defend vocational A levels
Oftsed may have slated vocational A levels, but many students and colleges seem to like them.
( Guardian )

College principal to oust 100 staff
A report on West Herts College, where the entire staff must reapply for their jobs in a £3 million budget squeeze.
( Guardian )

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