For the record

March 8, 2002

Lecturers protest at further redundancies
Lecturers at Middlesex University lobbied its board of governors this week in protest at restructuring and redundancy.
Members of lecturers' union Natfhe are angry that the university has selected nine people for redeployment after 80 posts had already been lost by voluntary moves and departures and when, initially, the university had said it only needed 60 job losses.

Has British science been saved yet?
Lobby group Save British Science has announced it will call a members' referendum on a name change when five scientific conditions are met.
The conditions include whether UK investment in research and development matches the average of other industrialised countries and whether laboratories are able to attract the researchers they want.

St Andrews sceptical about prince leaving
There is scepticism at St Andrews University over reports that Prince William  has been contemplating dropping out of his history of art degree or transferring to Edinburgh University.
A university spokesperson said she could not discuss individuals, but fellow students said they were surprised by the reports.

Drugs giant launches centre with Cambridge
The drug giant Pfizer is joining Cambridge University to launch a new centre for studying pharmaceutical compounds. The Pfizer Institute for Pharmaceutical Materials Science will employ 21 staff and students, who will work on jointly agreed research projects.

EPSRC bid to make PhD training more flexible
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council is planning to extend the flexible doctoral training account model for funding postgraduate research by introducing knowledge transfer training accounts. These would provide funding for PhD training that involves industry or the workplace.
A £15 million fund would be earmarked by the council for universities to encourage knowledge transfer to build closer links between academic research and industry.

Dundee plan to search for diabetes cure
Dundee University is planning to set up a £15 million medical and life sciences laboratory complex that could help the search for a cure for diabetes.
Dundee believes the centre could provide 180 highly skilled jobs in the city. It would also support the developing partnership between Dundee and St Andrews University, with scientists from both institutions able to use it.

Council set to regulate medical regulators
The General Medical Council and other regulatory bodies have reached agreement with the government on the powers of the proposed Council for the Regulation of Healthcare Professionals.
It will not be involved in the direct regulation of healthcare professionals, but will ensure consistency in the work of the regulators. There were fears that the council would be involved in education and training, creating another tier of bureaucracy.

Fellowships aim to widen participation
More than 100 school and college teachers will be going back to university as part of a scheme aimed at widening participation in higher education.
Thirty universities will offer Excellence Fellowship Awards, allowing teachers to spend a term at a participating university working on projects aimed at increasing the participation in higher education of working-class pupils. Each university will get £60,000 to spend on awards. Participating teachers will be eligible for £1,000 bonuses.

Oxford Brookes axes four courses
Oxford Brookes University is to phase out civil engineering, chemistry, geology and cartography. About 25 jobs will go but the university said compulsory redundancies would be avoided where possible.

Leicester stadium to become student village
A football stadium is to become a student village in a multi-million pound deal confirmed this week. Leicester City have sold their Filbert Street stadium to a Liverpool-based development company in a £3.75 million deal.

SU officers allege election is rigged
Student union officers have accused their national president Owain James and treasurer Geraint Hopkins of doing backdoor deals to fix the forthcoming National Union of Students executive elections by urging students not to vote for Labour-supporting candidates. Mr James said his intention was to keep the union independent.

Minister postpones Scots teaching review
Wendy Alexander, Scotland's minister for enterprise, transport and lifelong learning, has postponed decisions on launching an independent review of teaching costs until she has canvassed opinion through her review of Scottish higher education.
The Scottish Parliament's enterprise and lifelong learning committee called for the independent review after concerns about the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council's proposed reforms to its funding system.

Labour tackles FE's 'uneven quality'
The government has launched a bid to tackle "uneven quality" in further education and training.
Proposals include a targeted intervention strategy to help institutions that need to improve and cut out persistently poor provision, better teacher training for colleges, encouraging colleges to play to their strengths, and beacon status for top providers.

The curse of being loftier is no tall story
Researchers have found evidence that the increasing height of humankind may be blighting our future. Thomas Samaras, director of Reventropy Associates in San Diego, United States, said loftier individuals not only suffer healthwise, they also use more resources, cause more pollution and are a greater burden on the economy.
His findings appear in the latest issues of the Journal of the National Medical Association and Medical Hypotheses.

135% rise in student numbers
The number of higher education students increased by 135 per cent between 1981-82 and 2000-01, according to government figures. In Labour's first parliament, from 1997-98 to 2000-01, student numbers increased by 5.3 per cent. The number of students in further education fell by 2.5 per cent to 3.67 million between 1997-98 and 2000-01.

Correction
Dr Alan Smith would like to state that he did not carry out the investigations included in the article "Sleuths bag a top RAE score" ( THES January 25). They were given as examples of forensic engineering. Allan Wirth, of Bakewell, Derbyshire, carried out the murder investigation and Alan Sheldon, of Allvac Ltd investigated the other cases.

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