From today's UK papers

February 25, 2002

Hefce boosts Oxford funding by £2.5m
Oxford University will be awarded £2.5 million today to encourage applications from ethnic minority and state school students in Bradford. The award from the Higher Education Funding Council follows fears that just 53.2 per cent of new students last year came from the state sector. (Times)

First degree in China for British university
A British university says it has become the first to gain a foothold in the potentially lucrative Chinese market for internet-based degree courses. Liverpool University has launched an MBA and an Msc in information technology. (Times)

Publishers want VAT deal on electronic information
Educational publishers are pressing the government to make paid-for electronic information free from value added tax, as newspapers, magazines and books already are. Reed Elsevier, the Anglo-Dutch publisher that took more than £1 billion in sales of electronic information last year, is among those branding VAT rules an anomaly in the digital era. (Financial Times)

Britain's embryo research stance gives Superman hope
The paralysed Superman actor Christopher Reeve said yesterday he would come to Britain for treatment if stem-cell research banned in the US was allowed to proceed in the UK. Reeve, who was paralysed in a riding accident seven years ago, believes the UK's "progressive" attitude to the research could eventually lead to a cure for his damaged spine and allow him to fulfil his dream of walking again. (Independent, Times)

Ministers address academic credibility gap in social work
Faced with a recruitment crisis in social work, the government has been forced to look at the factors putting people off applying. For many, it is the lack of academic credibility that they would enjoy among other public sector roles such as teaching and nursing. The three-year degree in social work, to be introduced next autumn, aims to provide a solution. (Independent)

Talented employees not working to potential
Companies could be wasting £200 billion worth of talent, and at the same time employing managers who are not quite up to the job, according to two reports out today. Most workers feel they are stuck in a rut and not going anywhere, according to a poll by NOP. (Independent)

Firms fear computer enemy within
Dishonest employees present more of a threat to IT security for most businesses than external hackers or email viruses, according to a survey of 100 UK companies to be published this week. Recent scandals at Allied Irish Banks and Enron have sent shockwaves through businesses around the world that could potentially face a threat from within. (Guardian)

Academic armies come to blows in battle of Troy
A new Trojan war, only slightly less vicious than the original, has broken out among archaeologists over the size of the fabled city of Homer's Iliad . Such are the passions raised that when the two armies of academics met in Germany last week to resolve their differences their symposium ended in a bout of fisticuffs. (Times)

Shock tactics on wet pitches
University of Newcastle upon Tyne researchers are developing a system of using electric currents to draw water out of water-logged sports pitches. Future developments could include controlling the quality of playing surfaces. (Guardian)


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