For the record

June 15, 2001

Industry pays for most R&D

Companies and industrial research associations accounted for nearly half of the UK's total research and development expenditure in 1998, according to the latest figures. Businesses and private research institutes provided £7.35 billion (47 per cent) for civil and defence R&D out of a total of £15.6 billion.

Probe into City 'arson' focuses on post box

Police investigating the fire that ravaged City University's historic College Building suspect arson. Islington CID has launched an investigation following a fire investigation unit report. One theory is that the fire started in a "post box" used by students to submit essays.

Queen's man to lead troubled Scot institute

Robert Cormack, pro vice-chancellor of Queen's University, Belfast, is expected to be confirmed on Monday as the new head of the UHI Millennium Institute.

The institute, which was designated a higher education institution in April and aims to evolve into a University of the Highlands and Islands, has had a troubled history. Former chief executive Brian Duffield resigned last August.

Professor Cormack is co-director of the influential Centre for Research on Higher Education, run jointly by Queen's and the University of Ulster.

Ucas says AS levels are good predictors

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service has come out in support of the embattled AS-level system.

Headteachers say that AS levels, a part of the Curriculum 2000 reforms, over-test students in the year between GCSEs and A levels. But Ucas said that AS levels will be helpful to higher education institutions as better predictors of future A-level performance than GCSEs.

Education and skills secretary Estelle Morris has ordered a review of the qualifications.

Old universities get second female v-c

Glynis Breakwell will become only the second female vice-chancellor of an old university when she takes over at Bath in September. Professor Breakwell, pro vice-chancellor of Surrey University since 1994, replaces David VandeLinde.

False alarm frees 650 from sitting exams

Seventeen finals papers involving 650 students had to be abandoned at the London School of Economics last week after a false fire alarm.

As people had to be evacuated from the building, the examinations were compromised and therefore candidates were not allowed to resume.

Students, who were sitting a wide variety of papers from statistics to social policy, will not have to resit the exams. Instead, they will be assessed on the work they had completed, with the marks scaled up.

20 lecturers win £50,000 awards

The 20 lecturers winning Institute for Learning and Teaching National Teaching Fellowship Awards, worth £50,000 each, are: Christopher Budd , University of Bath; Claire Davis , Birmingham University; Ruth Soetendorp , Bournemouth University; David Grantham , Coventry University; Susan Armitage , Lancaster University; Ian Hughes , Leeds University; Mick Wallis , Loughborough University; Nick Byrne , London School of Economics; Paul O'Neill , Manchester University; Philip Frame , Middlesex University; Margaret Johnson , Open University; Les Jervis , Plymouth University; Michael McCabe , Portsmouth University; Dr Christopher Rowland , Royal Northern College of Music; Anthony Rosie , Sheffield Hallam University; Caroline Walker-Gleaves , Sunderland University; Lesley-Jane Reynolds , Surrey University; Ben Knights , Teesside University; John Peters , University College Worcester; and Ursula Lucas , University of the West of England.

Minister pushes to 'tap talent' of Scotland

Wendy Alexander, Scotland's minister for enterprise and lifelong learning, is pressing for a shake-up of further education to "release the creativity and tap the talent" of the unskilled and excluded.

Speaking at today's annual conference of the Association of Scottish Colleges, Ms Alexander said: "Everything from collaboration to merger must be part of the process."

Careers website will help 250,000 students

More than 20 research-led universities - including three-quarters of the Russell Group and Trinity College Dublin - have teamed up to offer an online recruitment service for their graduates.

The service, which will start operation in October, will attempt to match some 250,000 students and graduates to careers in blue-chip companies.

University links with six Sheffield colleges

Sheffield Hallam University has agreed a deal with six local colleges enabling them to jointly develop courses and make bids for additional student numbers and funding together.

The agreement links SHU with Dearne Valley, Rother Valley, Northern, Wakefield, Chesterfield and Sheffield colleges. Four other colleges are expected to join shortly.

Some Scots exempt from £2,000 payback

Scottish students who progress to graduation through Higher National courses followed by one final year of an undergraduate degree will be exempt from the new graduate endowment payment.

Regulations detailing liability for the £2,000 endowment were passed this week by the Scottish Parliament's enterprise and lifelong learning committee. Students beginning undergraduate courses this autumn will be liable for endowment payments.

£2.8 million to build mutant mouse archive

The European Union has put £2.8 million into creating the first mutant mouse archive. The archive will link the murine information archives and frozen specimen stores of seven organisations including the Medical Research Council and the European Bioinformatics Institute in the United Kingdom.

The Royal Society reported that UK researchers used 500,000 genetically modified mice in 1999 and the MRC claims that 500 mouse strains have been created here. The award from the EU will benefit researchers in the other participant countries, including France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Germany.

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