For the record

August 10, 2001

Cambridge resubmits plans for animal lab

Cambridge University has resubmitted plans for a pioneering neuroscience research laboratory despite fears that it will become a target for animal rights extremists.

A previous application for the site at 307 Huntingdon Road was rejected by South Cambridgeshire District Council in January because it intruded on the green belt and because of fears that it would cause congestion on the nearby A14.

The new plans limit the size of the building, and the proposal includes a letter from the government saying the research is necessary for animal and human health.

20,000 cash in ILAs in Northern Ireland

About 20,000 people in Northern Ireland have undertaken subsidised training in the year since individual learning accounts were introduced, it was revealed this week.

Computing and information technology were the most popular subjects - about two-thirds of people used their ILAs to get an 80 per cent discount on the cost of the part-time courses. Sean Farren (pictured), the minister for employment and learning, said: “I am particularly pleased that one in six had no previous formal qualifications.

LSE denies rumour of Clinton professorship

The London School of Economics has denied rumours that former US president Bill Clinton will be offered a visiting professorship.

According to press speculation this week, LSE director Anthony Giddens had offered Mr Clinton a post. But an LSE spokeswoman told The THES: “Bill Clinton and Anthony Giddens are quite close on their ideology, but no way has he been offered a professorship. I don’t think it’s on the cards at all.” Mr Clinton will give a guest lecture at the LSE in December.

NHS turns its new Heart over to UCLH

In a groundbreaking deal that returns a private hospital to the National Health Service, University College London Hospitals will take over a specialist cardiac facility.

UCLH is acquiring The Heart Hospital, near London’s Harley Street, for £.5 million using special government funds. The purchase will more than double UCLH’s cardiac capacity, making it one of the country’s biggest treatment centres.

Engineering dropout rate hits one-third

More than one in three engineering undergraduates drops out, according to a report published this week by the Engineering Employers Federation and the Engineering and Marine Training Authority.

A third of engineering students gained three Cs or lower at A level, and students with lower entry qualifications are more likely to drop out. Another contributing factor is that many engineering courses must recruit through clearing because of low demand from students.

Pearson pulls out of e-university venture

Pearson Education has confirmed that it is no longer in the running to become a joint-venture partner in the e-university. But it remains interested in collaborating on content development and marketing.

The e-university is due to announce its joint-venture partner next week. The BBC will join the project shortly afterwards. Thirteen programmes that lead to masters degrees in computing, business and management have been selected as pilots.

Group offers advice on intellectual property

The government has set up an intellectual property advisory committee to provide long-term strategy advice in a social and economic context on issues including patents and copyright.

Committee members include Sue Birley, director of Imperial College Entrepreneurship Centre; Paul Geroski, economist and deputy chair of the Competition Commission; Sandy Thomas, director of the Nuffield Committee on Bioethics; and David Vaver, director of Oxford University IP Research Centre.

UK particle physicists shine in awards haul

UK particle physicists were well represented in the 2001 prizes from the European Physical Society.

The prestigious high-energy and particle physics prize was awarded to Donald Perkins of Oxford University for his work on neutrinos and nucleons.

The first EPS young particle physicist prize went to Arnulf Quadt, who is now in Bonn but who carried out his award-winning work at Oxford.

The first EPS Outreach prize in particle physics was shared by Christine Sutton of Oxford and Erik Johansson of Stockholm University.

Course aims to quell drink-related crime

A course to tackle violent, alcohol-related crime will be piloted in Cardiff next month by the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff and the Home Office.

Designed for licensees, bar staff and others who work in the hospitality industry, the course covers licensing law and common offences. It offers ways of preventing problems and calming and controlling violent drinkers.

The course, run by the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure, will offer credits that can count towards the school’s higher national diploma or degree qualifications in licensed trade and hospitality management.

Ads for bogus auditions fleece would-be stars

Wannabe pop stars have been duped into paying for non-existent auditions in a nationwide scam involving at least seven universities.

Police discovered that an advertisement appearing in local papers asking youngsters to send £10 to a post office box address to take part in the pop auditions on various campuses was fake. Fraud squad officers are now investigating.

The ad read: “The search is on. Do you want to be a star? Are you ambitious and aged between 16 and 25?”

Nerc fellows are mostly men

Just a quarter of this year’s applicants for fellowships with the Natural Environment Research Council were women, the council’s annual statistics show. At the same time, men were more than twice as likely as women to succeed - only two of the 28 female applicants secured a fellowship, as opposed to 17 of the 87 men. The council is reviewing its eligibility criteria to ensure that it does not indirectly discriminate against female applicants.



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