For the record

October 26, 2001

Gloucestershire joins the university ranks
England's first new university in a decade was created this week as the Privy Council confirmed that it had awarded the title to Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education.

The University of Gloucestershire was created after a confidential Quality Assurance Agency report on its standards. The college applied for university status in June 1999.

Unison getting ready for strikes in colleges
Further education colleges face a strike over pay from members of Unison, the UK's largest trade union.

Unison said this week that its 25,000 college support staff members were "gearing up for industrial action" after college managers failed to reopen pay talks.

The union accepted an offer of a 3.7 per cent rise, worth on average about £400, earlier this year with the proviso that negotiations would be reopened if more money became available. Unison is angry that more money for pay was made available only to lecturers' union Natfhe.

Select committee eyes further education again
The education and skills select committee will hold a series of hearings on further education.

The Association of Colleges, lecturers' union Natfhe, the Learning and Skills Development Agency, the Learning and Skills Council and the minister for adult skills will all give evidence in the coming month.

Barry Sheerman, who chairs the committee, said: "We want to measure the progress that the government has made in this area and to revisit those of our predecessors' recommendations that have yet to be acted upon."

Lusty takes over top spot at Newport
James R. Lusty will be the next principal and chief executive of University of Wales College, Newport.

Professor Lusty, 50, is at present senior pro vice-chancellor at the University of Central Lancashire, with responsibility for learning, teaching and research and the university's regional strategy. He trained as an inorganic chemist and became a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 1992.

Wilson steps back from AUT leadership race
Tom Wilson, universities chief of lecturers' union Natfhe, has ruled himself out of the race to succeed David Triesman as general secretary of the Association of University Teachers.

His decision will disappoint supporters of a merger between the two lecturers' unions. Mr Wilson, a former AUT assistant general secretary, was widely tipped to stand in support of a single, united union. It is understood that his support for post-1992 universities has alienated him from key AUT executive members.

Northern Irish effort to help disabled students
Northern Ireland's higher and further education minister plans to improve the treatment of disabled undergraduates.

Sean Farren said he would introduce a Special Education Needs Bill requiring Queen's University, Belfast, Ulster University and further education colleges "not to treat students with disabilities less favourably than those who are not disabled".

Changes to nursing education considered
Six possible models for pre-registration nursing education are laid out in a report from the UK Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting.

The current structure has separate branches for adult, child and mental health and learning disabilities. The new models range from just two branches for child and adult care to keeping the four existing branches and integrating them with social care. The Nursing and Midwifery Council, which takes over from the UKCC in April, will take the report forward.

Wellcome provides Sanger with £300m
The Wellcome Trust will spend £300 million on a five-year post-genomic research strategy at its Sanger Institute.

The plan covers research into how genes control the human body and the role of human and pathogen genomes.
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A £36 million cancer genome study will look for disease-causing mutations. Completion of the mouse and zebra fish genomes, which would provide tools to interpret the human genome, are scheduled for 2005.

Healthy help comes with a lap of a loch
Stirling University's lochside campus, said to be the most beautiful in the country, is not just a pretty face.

This is Healthy Living Week, which the university is marking with events including advice from the campus pharmacy on complementary therapies and fitness assessments from the sports studies department.

The week's centrepiece is "Walk around the Loch". Stirling is inviting staff and students to help the British Heart Foundation by getting sponsorship for a 2,400-m lap of the loch.

Researchers pushed to pick up City sense
Bioscientists are being encouraged to add the Financial Times to their reading lists as part of an effort to raise business acumen in the research community.

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council has published an exploitation guide to give practical help on turning research into commerce.

The booklet includes advice on evaluating market potential, protecting intellectual property, funding and business strategy. A web version is available at www.bbsrc.ac.uk/biobusiness_guide .

Digs give cold comfort to many students
Almost one in six students lives in vermin-infested accommodation and one in eight says that their housing has caused health problems. Half of students have not seen copies of gas safety certificates despite having asked for them.

The findings come from the National Union of Students Housing and Health Survey 2001, which will be presented to MPs at Parliament next week.

The NUS is lobbying the government to extend licensing for multiple-occupancy housing to cover all shared accommodation.

Advice fails some minorities
Some ethnic minority students feel let down by university careers services. A survey of 1,200 students showed that those from black African, Indian and Irish backgrounds felt discriminated against. Most Chinese and Bangladeshi students said they had had good advice. Park recruitment advertising agency conducted the survey. 
   

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