For the record

May 18, 2001

Scot college numbers grow
Almost 30 per cent of Scottish higher education students are taking courses in further education colleges, says the Scottish Executive. Student numbers in higher education institutions have risen from 98,539 in 1989-90 to 187,381 in 1999-2000, while higher education student numbers in colleges have risen from 33,059 to 72,007.

Science academies back Kyoto Protocol
The Royal Society and 16 other science academies have issued a joint statement pledging support for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and calling on policy-makers to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

The statement, published today in Science, says: "The balance of scientific evidence demands effective steps now to avert damaging changes to the Earth's climate. Business as usual is no longer a viable option."

The statement is supported by European science academies and those of Canada, China, India and Australia. But the National Academy of Sciences in the United States and its Russian counterpart have not signed.

Bio-institute receives £12.4 million EU grant
The European Bioinformatics Institute, one of the world's leading providers of biological information, is to get £12.4 million in European Union funding over the next three years.

The institute, based on the Wellcome Trust Human Genome Campus, near Cambridge, operates vast and growing databases of DNA and protein sequences, including the output of the Human Genome Project.

Former Beirut hostage wins graduate award
Kidnapping survivor and author Brian Keenan was this year presented with the First Trust Bank/University of Ulster Distinguished Graduate Award at a special ceremony on the university's Magee campus.

Mr Keenan completed a foundation course at Magee before he studied English at Coleraine. He graduated with a BA from the New University of Ulster in 1974. He also holds an MA in English from the UU.

Kidnapped by Arab terrorists in Beirut in April 1986, Mr Keenan was held hostage for over four years before being released in August 1990.

Union co-op to control housing and services
Students at the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside have turned their student union into a cooperative.

The 7,000 students are now owners and shareholders of the student union. Ownership of assets, licences and leases will be transferred over the coming months and there are plans for a student housing cooperative, student telephone and power supplies, group insurance, a job shop and a credit union.

David Williams, general manager of LHU student union, said: "A co-op is a community enterprise and keeps economic benefits inside the community so profit is not siphoned off by outside interests."

Paid education leave is a right, says campaign
A campaign to secure paid educational leave for workers was launched last week.

Supported by organisations including lecturers' union Natfhe and The Open University, the campaign aims to give every worker a legal entitlement to a minimum amount of paid study time.

Campaign spokesman Richard Blakeley said: "Achieving lifelong learning and skills for all must be a national priority. Giving every individual a statutory right to paid educational leave is the best way for us to achieve our individual and national potential."

Readers vote editor out of an 'unethical' job
The British Medical Journal's editor, Richard Smith, should resign as professor of medical journalism at Nottingham University following the £3.8 million British American Tobacco funding row at the university, most BMJ readers who took part in an online poll believe.

The survey found 54 per cent of readers in favour of his resignation, compared with 45 per cent against. It also found that 84 per cent of readers thought Nottingham University should return the money to BAT, with just 15 per cent against.

OU to make general telly for prime time
The Open University will make television programmes aimed at general viewers for prime-time slots on BBC 2 under a new agreement unveiled today.

Diana Laurillard, OU pro vice-chancellor for learning technology and teaching, said: "You can awaken an interest in people using a general programme, and they visit the website and realise that they can take their interest further with us or another university."

The OU will also take up an option to invest in major BBC factual projects.

Liverpool to build £8 million e-school
Liverpool University is to establish a management school focusing on e-learning, e-business and entrepreneurship.

The £8 million school will open in September 2002, employing more than 100 academics and creating 25 new posts. The university has raised £2 million from corporate donors.

Philip Love, vice-chancellor of the University of Liverpool, said: "Our courses will stand out because they not only exploit the new economy and links with the private sector, they also promise to give something back to the business community and wider economy."

Cern scientists explain nature's subtle tastes
Scientists at Cern, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, have demonstrated the subtle effect that explains nature's preference for matter over antimatter.

The result, announced at a seminar in Switzerland last week, follows ten years' work and the observation of 20 million decaying kaon particles.

William is stitched up in Bayeux Tapestry
It has long symbolised Norman triumph over conquered English. But new analysis of the Bayeux Tapestry suggests it is riddled with subversive Anglo-Saxon messages celebrating the heroism of defeated king Harold.

Meredith Clermont-Ferrand, a historian at St Thomas's University, United States, has identified elements of a defiant subtext hidden by deliberate ambiguity in the English-made tapestry, which was commissioned by William the Conqueror's half-brother Odo.

She found Harold is almost exclusively depicted full frontal rather than in profile and shown in Christ-like iconography; he is labelled "king" while William is "duke"; the word used to describe his death could mean "killed" or "martyred"; and it is made clear his oath of loyalty to William was a matter of degree to the English, not absolute as it was to the Normans.




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