News in brief

August 28, 2008

London South Bank University

Older students held back

Mature university candidates are disadvantaged by a poor understanding of the application process, according to research at London South Bank University. The study found that many older applicants were not aware they could apply to university after the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service deadline on 30 June and before A-level results are published.


Bids wanted for 'green' project

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is inviting bids from institutions for projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The £30 million Revolving Green Fund, which will run from 2008 to 2011, is a partnership between Hefce and Salix Finance, a publicly funded organisation focused on accelerating public sector investment in energy-efficiency technologies. Institutions can apply for money for small projects or larger funding to help them become beacons of good practice. Visit


Record applications reported

A record 375,100 students had secured a place on a degree course by 20 August - with 9,263 places agreed through the clearing process - according to statistics from the University and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas). It confirmed 8.4 per cent more acceptances than at this time last year. The number of places accepted through clearing has also risen, by 11.6 per cent. Ucas said "strategically important" subjects such as mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics had shown a rise in acceptances by 7.1 per cent, 2.7 per cent, 4.6 per cent and 1.3 per cent, respectively. A record 557,486 applications were received by Ucas this year.

Information Commissioner

Data guidance on exam records

New good-practice guidance from the Information Commissioner discusses students' rights to access their exam results. Entitled "Individuals' rights of access to examination records", the guidance explains that under the Data Protection Act students can request information about themselves, including examination marks, scripts, comments and minutes of examination appeals panels. More general information, such as university or college policies and procedures, can be obtained under the Freedom of Information Act from the relevant university or college. Visit

Scottish Government

More cash for foreign graduates

The Scottish Government is investing a further £233,000 in its Fresh Talent scheme, which aims to encourage international students to stay on and live and work in Scotland by offering them a variety of support after they graduate. The scheme will fund 16 projects in nine universities and colleges for a year, starting from September.


In last week's Times Higher Education, we referred in a headline to the University of Westminster, when the story related to the University of Winchester, which has just been granted the power to award its own research degrees. Apologies to both institutions.

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