News in brief

December 13, 2002

Moscow
The espionage trial of Anatoliy Babkin, of the Bauman Moscow State Technical University, has been postponed indefinitely owing to his ill-health. Professor Babkin, 72, was accused of passing technical information on a missile to a US citizen, who was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment but later pardoned by president Vladimir Putin.

Durban
At least 43 per cent of South Africa's newly qualified doctors plan to leave the country next year, according to a survey of 1,100 medics who qualified in 2001. The survey was compiled by the University of Natal's Nelson Mandela Medical School.

Tehran
About 3,000 Tehran University students held a campus protest on Saturday against a death sentence given to university professor Hashem Aghajari for insulting Islam. The students also demonstrated in support of a national referendum on Iran's political future. (Off-campus rallies have been banned for the past two years.)

Ontario
The Richard Ivey School of Business in London, Ontario, has joined the Community of European Management Schools.

Beijing
More than 2.12 million Chinese university graduates will be looking for jobs over the next six months, 670,000 more than this year.This follows the government's 1999 decision to expand university enrolment.

Brussels
The European Commission's €1 million (£640,000) Descartes prize for transnational cooperation in research is to be split between a project led by Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, involving multiple sclerosis, and one investigating the point of origin of gamma-ray bursts led by the University of Amsterdam.

Brasilia
Twenty out of 45 university teaching hospitals controlled by Brazil's education ministry have declared a state of emergency after cutting essential services in response to mounting debts.

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