From today's UK papers

March 1, 2002

Employer demand for graduates rises
Employers' skills demands are rising quickly, according to a survey commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills from the ESRC Research Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance. The study, published today, shows the proportion of degree-level jobs rose from 10 per cent in 1986 to 17 per cent in 2001.Only per cent of jobs now require no qualifications. (Financial Times)

Part-time working 'would not affect academic studies'
Most students have a "ruddy good time" despite modest debts, and their studies would not suffer it they did some part-time work, according to Margaret Hodge, the minister for universities. Ms Hodge's comments indicate that the government's review of student finance would focus any new grants system on the most disadvantaged. (Financial Times)

English science 'lacks funding'
Lobby groups have welcomed the announcement of more money for university science in Scotland and Wales, and expressed concern that English science is being left behind. "The £10 million of new money in Scotland  follows a similar announcement by the Welsh Assembly a couple of weeks ago," said Peter Cotgreave, director of save British Science. "English research is now lagging behind." He urges Margaret Hodge, the education minister, to follow suit. (Financial Times)

Poll says Labour policies are best on key issues
Labour is still seen as having the best policies on the issues rated as most important by the public, according to the latest MORI poll for The Times . The poll, undertaken last weekend, shows that Labour's rating has nevertheless fallen on two thirds of the issues over the past 12 months, with the notable exception of defence. (Times)

Heroin victim's body used for campaign
The life of a 21-year-old university dropout who died after injecting heroin is to feature in an educational film warning schoolchildren of the dangers of drug abuse. The 22-minute film, called Rachel's Story, tracks Rachel Whitear's descent from a university student to her death at a flat in Exmouth, Devon, after two years of drug abuse. (Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Times)

Cancer linked to cold war bomb tests
A US government study says that fallout from cold war nuclear tests by US, Britain and the Soviet Union has caused the death of an estimated 15,000 Americans. The study was conducted by the National Cancer Institute and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, but its publication has been delayed by the US government. (Guardian)

Pregnancy among over-40s rises 41%
The pregnancy rate among women over 40 has increased by 41% in the past ten years, according to figures yesterday from the office for national statistics showing a trend towards later child rearing by working mothers. (Guardian, Times)

Key move on anti-TB vaccine
A breakthrough in the search for a vaccine for tuberculosis, a disease that kills millions of humans and animals a year, has been made by veterinary scientists trying to eliminate bovine TB in Britain, according to the veterinary laboratories agency. After sequencing the genome of the organism causing bovine tuberculosis, scientists discovered that humans originally passed TB to animals, not the other way round, as had been supposed. (Guardian)

Dodo shares branch with Nicobar pigeon
A mummified dodo housed in Oxford University Museum of Natural History has provided the DNA to solve a mystery about the extinct bird. Analysis of genetic samples from the preserved bird shows that the its closest relative is the Nicobar pigeon, a small creature with greenish yellow plumage and a mane of spiky black feathers. (Guardian)

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