For the record

November 16, 2001

Cash for Nesta fellows to build on dreams
A school teacher who helped dyslexic students with mathematics at Plymouth University while also carrying out research into learning is among the winners of the latest round of National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta) awards.

Wendy Fortescue-Hubbard will use her £75,000 fellowship to help popularise and demystify mathematics.

Nesta will announce 36 awards worth more than £2 million on Monday. Other winners include Eddie Norman, from Loughborough University, who will use his award to develop cheap, high-quality acoustic musical instruments made of plastic; and Rob Kessler, from Central St Martins College, whose award will fund work at the Royal Botanical Gardens using scientific equipment to generate art from plant material.

Cornwall gets to work building new facilities
Building is to start on higher education facilities for Cornwall under the Combined Universities in Cornwall Initiative.

The £10 million project will install eight new buildings at six of Cornwall College's existing sites. Everything should be completed by the start of the academic year in 2003. The development is in addition to the main university buildings, to be built in Tremough, near Penryn.

Royal Bank of Scotland donates £250,000
The Royal Bank of Scotland has made two donations totalling more than £250,000 to Glasgow University students.

It has given £240,000 to provide 15 bursaries a year for the next few years to students who complete access courses. It has also made a £25,000 donation to a memorial appeal in honour of Donald Dewar to raise funds for a chair of social justice.

Queen's begins push to raise £150m
Queen's University, Belfast, has begun a £150 million campaign to underwrite capital developments and academic initiatives over the next decade.

The campaign will support a new student centre, a new library and a student village. Queen's also plans academic initiatives to attract international research talent to Belfast.

Foreigners not scared off US
Nearly 548,000 foreign students enrolled in US universities in 2000-01, a 6.4 per cent rise over the previous year, the American Universities Admission Program said. It added that the impact of the recent terrorist attacks was minimal. There were few departures of resident students, and there were record applications in October.

Eastern institutions link up for innovation
A £4.5 million, three-year initiative for the east of England hopes to link universities, colleges and industry to boost innovation and prosperity.

The Regional Infrastructure for Innovation scheme comprises Cambridge, East Anglia, Essex, Hertfordshire and Luton universities, Anglia Polytechnic University, Norwich School of Art and Design and the Open University in the East of England. Cambridge will lead the project.

Westminster dispute over contracts ends
Staff and management at the University of Westminster have resolved their differences over changes to contracts.

In a statement to staff, the local branch of lecturers' union Natfhe said:

"We had a successful negotiation with management, which resulted in the replacement of 17 significant clauses that had been removed from the agreed contract and the removal of eight significant clauses that had been inserted."

It went on: "It returns all academic staff to the protections of the nationally agreed staff handbook and our locally agreed guidelines and local exclusivity agreement."

Healthcare council will lack education powers
The NHS Reform and Health Care Professions Bill, published last week, will create a Council for the Regulation of Health Care Professions to oversee health regulatory bodies, including the General Medical Council.

The council has no direct educational powers, but it has reserve powers it can use if a regulatory body fails in its duties.

Smaller student union sparks De Montfort row
De Montfort University students protested this week against plans to move their students' union to smaller accommodation. The university is reorganising its Leicester city campus.

The university argues that it is providing the union with a floor in a new building. But student union president Stuart Hill said students are unhappy that the capacity for concerts and other events has been "downsized".

John Coyne, De Montfort pro vice-chancellor, said the student union had been involved in a consultation over the move.

Protestors target Oxford's Said School
Oxford University's Said Business School was the target of a demonstrator who hung an enormous banner on it reading: built with blood money. The protest was held as developers turned the school over to the university.

Police arrested the protester, who was later released on bail.

Protesters gathered again later that day at a reception to mark the transfer. Another protestor was arrested and released on bail.

The school was founded with a £20 million donation from businessman Wafic Said. Mr Said is sometimes described as an arms broker, a label he rejects.

Natfhe talks to MPs about Lincoln job cuts
Representatives of lecturers union Natfhe were at the House of Commons on Wednesday to discuss the effects of possible redundancies at the University of Lincoln with regional MPs.

About 125 academic posts are at risk, mostly at the Cottingham Road campus in Hull. A spokesman said Lincoln hoped to avoid compulsory redundancies.

Britons will steer clear of the final frontier
The United Kingdom will not participate in manned space missions in the foreseeable future, Lord Sainsbury, the science minister said on Wednesday.

He told a meeting of European ministers in Edinburgh that the UK would restrict its contribution to space exploration to unmanned probes.

A virtual student game to play at virtual pub
Would-be students daunted by the prospect of surviving on a tight budget while juggling academic and social commitments can simulate the experience.

De Montfort University's marketing and recruitment chiefs have invented a computer game in which a virtual student can be steered through a simulated university career to success or ruin. It is being issued to course applicants in a student survival pack.

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