For the record

August 24, 2001

Chairs seat IT and genomics at same table
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council has announced four new chairs in bioinformatics as part of a £3.4 million drive to boost the interface between genomics and computer science.

The professors will be David Jones at University College London, Stephen Muggleton at Imperial College London and Andy Brass at Manchester University. Professor Jotun Hein is moving from Denmark to take up his chair at Oxford.

£2m gift for humanities research library
The University of York has received £2 million from the Raymond Burton Charitable Trust for a humanities research library that will house special collections for use by scholars from around the world.

The Borthwick Institute of Historical Research, which holds the records of the archbishops of York, hopes to move to the site, which is due to open next year.

Big Brother’s Helen rejected as a big sister
Students need suitable role models to help them cope with the financial hardship of university and David Beckham and Big Brother ’s Helen Adams are no use, says an advisory body.

The Careers Research and Advisory Centre, said the ideal person, such as Richard Branson, would be engaged in learning and their aspirations would be linked to that process.

Richard Ogdon, Crac’s business development director, said: “The economic challenges for young people are becoming greater when they go to univer-sity. They need some role models to help them through that.”

Nepalese enticed to study in the UK
The Foreign Office is targeting Nepal as a higher education recruitment market, after a promotion campaign last year more than doubled the number of Nepalese students signing on courses in the United Kingdom.

The campaign aims for the “quality end” of the market, in a bid to further boost the UK’s share of the market compared with India, its main rival for attracting Nepalese students.

No MBA? No problem for women
Academic qualifications are irrelevant to female entrepreneurial success, according to a survey from accountancy firm BDO Stoy Hayward. The consultants found skills learnt outside formal education were more important. They cited ambition, self motivation and communication as the secrets of success. Only 3 per cent of the 150 women interviewed had an MBA. The women ran companies with annual turnovers from £350,000 to more than £15 million.

Bar Council relaxes student-to-staff ratio
The Bar Council has relaxed its prescribed student-to-staff ratio for institutions teaching larger numbers on its courses.

Under the new rules, most institutions will operate at the same ratio of 12.5:1, but those with more students will be allowed a more generous ratio.

Nigel Bastin, head of education and training at the Bar Council, said: “Three institutions will have more than 125 students - the Inns of Court School of Law, BPP Law School and the College of Law (from 2005) and thus in respect of students over 125, will operate at an SSR of 16:1.”

Youth service to make more Connexions
The Connexions youth-guidance service for 14 to 19-year-olds is to be expanded, Ivan Lewis, minister for young people and learning, said this week.

From September, the scheme - which offers advice on education, training, employment, health and youth justice - will run in 15 areas, including Humberside, Greater Merseyside and Suffolk.

Battle lines drawn in bid to host asteroid centre
Science minister Lord Sainsbury has invited plans for the first UK centre for the study of asteroids and comets that could collide with Earth.

The centre will receive up to £250,000 funding over its first three years. Universities, research institutions, museums and public information centres will bid to host the Near Earth Objects Centre, which “will provide accurate information and increase public understanding of NEOs”.

Cardiff takes on the native tongue
Welsh speakers dealing with Cardiff University can expect a response in their own language from this month, following approval by the Welsh Language Board for the university’s Welsh language scheme.

Members of the public will be able to telephone university staff or speak to them face to face in Welsh and receive publications and correspondence in Welsh.

Elma, 79, wins prize for degree at St Andrews
The Fife Council convenor’s prize for St Andrews University’s new part-time degree course for adults has gone to Elma Cheetham, who left school in 1938.

Mrs Cheetham, 79, who hopes to graduate before her 83rd birthday, said her family could not afford to send her to university and she had always regretted not going on to higher education.

The broad-based general degree for which she is studying covers technology, English, Scottish history, biology, physics and astronomy, and art and theology.

Student village set for site in Greenwich
Jarvis, a private-sector building contractor, is to construct a “student village” in Greenwich.

The company has bought a hall from Goldsmiths College to house about 200 students from September. It also has an option to purchase two adjacent sites that could provide rooms with en suite facilities and self-contained flats for another 1,000 students.

The village will contain academic facilities for Trinity College of Music. Jarvis is investing about £60 million in the project.

Crossiella bacteria named after Tom
A genus of bacteria has been named after Tom Cross, a retired biologist at the University of Bradford.

Professor Cross is renowned for his work in isolating and characterising strains of actinomycetes bacteria that produce antibiotic drugs.

The new genus, discovered by scientists at the US Department of Agriculture, is called Crossiella.   

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