For the record

July 20, 2001

Art school merger goes back to drawing board

Governors of Wimbledon School of Art have thrown out any immediate plans for merger with the Chelsea School of Art, part of the London Institute. The board has agreed to develop a new strategic plan, with the help of an external consultant. Staff were angered last month when they found that principal Rod Bugg had been in secret talks with the London Institute to move with Chelsea to its new Millbank premises.

Scholarship honours singer Kirsty MacColl

Singer songwriter Kirsty MacColl is to be honoured with a scholarship in her name at Guildhall University. Ms MacColl was killed last December in a speedboat accident in Mexico. The scholarship is to be set up at the Centre for Urban and Community Research at Goldsmiths College, University of London, from September. It will cover the fees for an MA in culture, globalisation and the City.

Centre will better serve students

The National Centre for Work Experience has been taken over by the Higher Education Careers Service Unit. Liz Rhodes, who will continue as director of the NCWE, said: "By combining the CSU and the NCWE’s considerable work-experience expertise, organisations such as the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, the Association of Graduate Recruiters and the National Union of Students will be better placed to respond to students’ and employers’ needs."

Blair places more emphasis on science

A cabinet committee on science policy has been set up "to consider the government’s policies in relation to scientific advances and public acceptance of them". Chaired by the secretary of state for trade and industry, the committee comprises ministers from nine departments as well as science minister Lord Sainsbury.

Bradford’s minorities have strong identity

Disadvantage and exclusion have given Bradford’s ethnic minorities a strong sense of their identity, says a report from the ethnicity and social policy research unit at Bradford University. A survey of 3,600 15 to 16-year-olds found that "differences within, as well as between, ethnic communities, are becoming expressed in territorial boundary formation".

More than 60 per cent were aiming for further or higher education and viewed their city as "a socially benign multicultural environment in which a good life can be created".

University pays off: the proof

Seventy-five per cent of UK graduates get a satisfying job. Higher Education Funding Council research found 87 per cent of graduates questioned were employed or self-employed three and a half years after graduation, compared with 83 per cent in Europe.

Research into learning is encouraged

The Economic and Social Research Council’s plan to examine post-compulsory learning and teaching was welcomed this week by the Universities Association for Continuing Education.

The UACE called for research to focus on understanding how informal learning occurs and how students from non-traditional backgrounds go about doing well at university. The role of information technology should also be investigated, it said.

Dome could provide Wellcome home

The Wellcome Trust has refused to confirm or deny that it is bidding for the Millennium Dome. Reports this week said Wellcome would use the dome for research and exhibitions about medical science. Wellcome had been planning to extend its Hinxton campus in Cambridgeshire, but its proposals were blocked. The Dome could offer a simpler alternative. English Partnerships, which is responsible for the sale of the Dome, said it was considering more than 100 expressions of interest.

Clearing service free online from August 16

ECCTIS, the government’s agency for information on university courses, is launching an online clearing service. The free service, live from August 16, will be updated by universities daily and is searchable by course type and institution.

Royal Society breaks male tradition again

The Royal Society has appointed a woman officer for only the second time in its 340-year history. Dame Julia Higgins, professor of polymer science at Imperial College, will take over as foreign secretary in December. She will be responsible for promoting UK science overseas, including the society’s annual exchange programme for 3,000 scientists and the election of foreign members to the fellowship.

£2.35 million spent on launch of degrees

Government began its hard sell of foundation degrees this week with the launch of a £2.35 million multimedia advertising campaign. Newspapers, radio and television will run adverts for the two-year sub-degree qualifications that start this autumn.

Higher education institutions have been allocated 3,913 places on 69 foundation degree courses in 2001-02. A spokeswoman for the Department for Education and Skills said numbers for subsequent years would depend on take-up in the coming academic year.

New comedy becomes butt of science joke

The joke has backfired on a BBC Radio 4 comedy to be broadcast next week.

"No Future in Eternity" is about two angels who come to live on Earth with a cosmologist for a flatmate. The playwrights put their hero to work on the solar neutrino anomaly - why fewer neutrinos are detected coming from the Sun than would be expected.

However, two days after the recording, researchers at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory in Canada announced they had solved the problem - the neutrinos change flavour as they travel from the Sun to the earth. The broadcast will go ahead anyway, with an announcement of the Sudbury result at the end of the programme.


Three of the reserves figures published last week ("Which university has the deepest pockets?") were suspect. The data supplied by the Higher Education Statistics Agency did not list general reserves consistently. The correct figure for the University of Central England’s reserves is £33.9 million, and the University of Northumbria’s is £12.3 million. Wolverhampton University did not wish to supply The THES with a corrected figure. We apologise.

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