Westminster to open Uzbekistan branch
The University of Westminster is to open a branch in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Courses for bachelors and masters degrees will be offered in economics, management, information technology and law, following Westminster's existing curricula.
A scholarship fund set up by Uzbek president Islam Karimov will provide student grants and part of the funding. The Uzbek government has exempted the university from taxes for five years and has promised to make up any shortfall in funding.
The branch is planned to open in September.
Edinburgh's medical institute plan gets £4m
Edinburgh University's plans for a new medical research institute have been boosted by £4 million from the Wolfson Foundation, leaving it only £12 million short of its £50 million target.
The institute will house 620 researchers from three key units: cardiovascular biology, inflammation research and reproductive biology.
Human genome pioneer resigns
Craig Venter has resigned as president of Celera, the American company that mapped the human genome in a race with an international public collaboration, although he will remain in an advisory role.
It is unclear whether his departure, which has triggered a 5 per cent drop in Celera's share price, was voluntary.
Imperial plan to boost business acumen
A programme to help academics and researchers improve their business and innovation skills was launched this week by Imperial College, London.
The scheme will use seminars, workshops and masterclasses.
Job cuts looming at four institutions
Up to 120 jobs may be cut at Oxford Brookes University, which wants to save £4.6 million as part of a fundamental review for the next ten years.
About 70 jobs are at risk at the Lincoln School of Art and Design and the Lincolnshire School of Agriculture after their takeover by Lincoln University.
A boycott of exam assessments is planned at Middlesex University in response to management plans to cut ten jobs.
Computer downtime used to screen disease
Oxford University is using screen savers to combat the threat of anthrax. In partnership with United Devices, the university will use idle computer time to search for molecules that could halt the effects of anthrax.
Graham Richards, chairman of chemistry at Oxford, said: "Massively distributed computing provides efficient and speedy ways to identify new drug candidates. With anthrax and other related bioterrorist threats, speed of discovery is of the essence."
UK academia features few 'non-white' faces
Ethnic minorities make up less than 2 per cent of professors in the United Kingdom, and just 6.5 per cent of academics are "non-white", according to Higher Education Statistics Agency figures analysed by the Association of University Teachers.
In 1999-2000, there were just 29 black and 179 Asian professors. The AUT also found in an unpublished survey that four out of ten "non-white" staff, compared with one in 10 white academics, perceive institutional racism..
Rival suppliers of online journals merge
Online academic journal suppliers Ingenta and Gale have joined forces to combine access to their joint catalogue.
Ingenta's 5,400 journals together with Gale's signature search framework InfoTracTogether will offer almost 10,000 publications depending on the number of Ingenta subscriptions a library holds.
Current subscribers to either service can sign up for free. Ingenta began as a spin-off from Bath University but is now a publicly traded company.
Scots colleges 'need to be made accountable'
Training and education in Scotland's further education colleges could be in jeopardy unless financial management and accountability are improved, the Scottish Parliament's audit committee has said.
It is urging ministers to consider giving the Scottish Further Education Funding Council the power to intervene when colleges get into financial difficulties.
The committee launched an investigation into why Scotland's 43 colleges had deficits totalling £18 million in 1999-2000.
Report calls for rethink about UK food chain
A rethink of government policy on farming and food so that it can help improve the nation's health is urgently needed, says a report published yesterday.
The study was conducted by Tim Lang and Geoff Rayner, published by the Centre for Food Policy at Thames Valley University and the UK Public Health Association. It calls for the industry to adopt a new set of national principles and strategies to help shorten food supply chains, encourage diversity of foods and biodiversity in fields and give equal weight to human and environmental health.
The report is released just days before the government-appointed Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food publishes its study on how a sustainable, competitive and diverse farming and food sector can be created.
Welsh higher education wins £6 million extra
The Welsh Assembly has announced an extra £6 million for higher education in Wales for the current academic year.
Jane Davidson, the assembly's education minister, said the money should help support research growth.
The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales should be well placed to fund improvements in research assessment scores by Welsh university departments, she added.
Losing a few students is careless, but 50,000
The University of Hull has appointed a researcher to discover what has happened to more than 50,000 former students.
The university estimates that more than 100,000 men and women have graduated since the university was founded in 19 but has records of only 47,000.
Researcher Peter Wallace said: "We're keen to get in touch with as many of them as possible in time for the university's 75th anniversary next year."
He said the graduates could also support the university's fundraising efforts.
THES editor calls it a day after a decade
Auriol Stevens, who is 61, will retire as editor of The THES in June this year after ten years in the job. She said:
"It has been a pleasure and a privilege to edit The THES during these momentous years but ten years is a long time and there are other things I now want to do with my life."
Sir Edward Pickering, chairman of The THES , announcing the move yesterday, said: "She has brought great distinction to the editorship of The THES and presided over the successful growth of the paper, raising circulation by 40 per cent. We wish her well."
Graduate start salaries rise
Graduate starting salaries rose by 3 per cent to an average of £18,021 for September 2001, according to a report this week from the Careers Services Unit. The highest graduate starting salaries are found in management consultancy (£20,033), information technology (£19,121) and human resources positions (£18,413).