News in brief

April 27, 2001

Derby suspends six over net porn claims
Six lecturers at Derby University have been suspended over accusations of accessing internet pornography on university computers. The university has begun an internal inquiry.

It is understood that material was found on six separate computers. The university would not reveal the nature of the material and declined to say whether the police would be called in.

Derby has a compulsory code of practice that restricts staff's use of computers to research, teaching, study and administration. A "designated authority" can monitor internet and email use on any university network.

Artists' prints to fund Napier scholarships
Napier University is selling specially created prints to fund scholarships. It hopes to raise more than £50,000 from an exhibition of work at Edinburgh's Dundas Street Gallery by ten leading artists including Elizabeth Blackadder, John Byrne and Peter Howson.

The prints, which have been produced in a limited edition of 60, are being sold in portfolio sets of ten for £2,000, but interest can be registered in individual prints.

The scholarships will allow talented students with financial difficulties to study in Napier's faculty of arts and social science.

Business schools told to nurture creativity  
Business schools are failing businesses by poor teaching of design, creativity and innovation. This was the key message of a conference organised by the Design Council that brought more than 100 lecturers, researchers, academics and consultants to the Cranfield Management Centre.
Jim Rait, Unilever manager of design, technology and strategy, said a physics graduate would be "more likely to think outside the box rather than worry about spreadsheets" like an MBA.

Bettina von Stamm, of London Business School, said: "Creativity is about challenging your assumptions, and we don't learn that in schools." She said teaching design and innovation was difficult because education tends to specialism but design covers a wide range of interests.

National count aims to tick off all students   
Census organisers say this year's forms are designed to make sure all students are counted - unlike in 1991, when many slipped through the net. Targeted publicity and "student champions"at universities aim to boost student participation.
Students are to be asked to fill in census forms at their term-time address, said a spokesman for the Office of National Statistics. If they are away, say at their parents' house, they must be included in that household's submission in an abbreviated form, then file their own submission when they return. In 1991, students were recorded based on their location on the night of the census.

Call for counselling to enter everyday life   
Counselling should not be used solely as a last-minute tool in a crisis but embraced in our everyday lives, making us better citizens and family members, according to an expert at the University of Abertay Dundee.
John McLeod, Abertay's professor of counselling and founding editor of the journal Counselling Research, is calling for more government funds to promote research, train counsellors and develop counselling through the National Health Service.

Graduate seeks debt deferment reform
A Scottish graduate is to submit a public petition to the Scottish Parliament urging that it revise debt legislation to include a new debt-deferment policy for student loans. Alexander Neilson, who graduated in 1992 and completed an MSc in 1998, claimed that graduates risk being hounded by debt collectors, even when their income is below the repayment threshold, if they do not keep in close touch with the collection agency.

Online art assessment and advice discussed   
E-learning and the problems of assessing art and design students online are topics at today's meeting of the Consortium of Arts and Design Institutions in Southern England. The consortium is developing a website for employers to recruit graduates and to give career advice.

Oxbridge tackles Scots intake at Murrayfield   
Oxford and Cambridge universities are holding a conference at Murrayfield, home of Scottish rugby, today for students and teachers from more than 50 Scottish schools to encourage applications. For entry in October 2000, 2.1 per cent of students accepted at Oxford and 2 per cent at Cambridge were Scottish.

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