News in brief

July 10, 2008


First choice for foundation

Almost half of all students taking a foundation degree were studying at a university, according to figures released by the Higher Education Funding Council for England. Of the 40,000 students studying on foundation degrees in 2007-08, 44 per cent were at higher education institutions. Half these were studying the most popular subjects of education, business or art and design. Some 62 per cent of foundation students studied full time, and 65 per cent were aged 21 or over when they started their courses. The number of foundation students increased from 34,000 in 2006-07, and Hefce expects student numbers to rise to 97,000 by 2010.

British Council Scotland

North of the border rated highest

International students put Scottish universities ahead of their UK and European competitors in terms of learning, student support and overall experience, according to a survey commissioned by British Council Scotland. The poll of almost 6,000 students, more than 14 per cent of international students north of the border, is intended to help universities to plan their marketing strategies. Scottish institutions will next year lose the competitive edge they have had under the Fresh Talent initiative when two-year visa extensions for graduates will be granted across the UK. The survey found that 86 per cent of students would recommend the experience to others and 91 per cent of students thought Scotland was a good place to be, compared with 86 per cent for the rest of the UK and 87 per cent in Europe.

UUK sustainable development task force

Broadfoot gets a green chair

Patricia Broadfoot, vice-chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire, has been appointed chair of the Universities UK sustainable development task force. Her university was named the greenest in the UK in the People & Planet Green League, published by Times Higher Education last week. The task force will include representatives from universities and Government. Its first formal meeting will take place on 10 September at the annual UUK conference in Cambridge.

UCL/University of Bristol

Memories are made of this

A research project has been launched by the British Library, in collaboration with University College London and the University of Bristol, to understand how we use computers to capture personal memories. The library says such digital material, which includes blogs, e-mails and photographs, will become invaluable for future researchers, although nobody currently knows whether such material can be made accessible in the future. "Digital Lives" is asking anyone who uses computers to complete a survey at


In the article "Aberystwyth refutes claims of 'hateful' anti-Israel teaching bias" (Times Higher Education, 26 June), we reported that Marie Breen Smyth, a reader at the University of Aberystwyth, had provided a comment to The Cambrian News. In fact, Dr Breen Smyth did not speak to any publication. The Cambrian News quoted from a prepared statement by Dr Breen Smyth that had been posted on her university's internal website. We are happy to clarify.

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