News in brief

December 11, 2008

Internet addresses

Dot-uni domains up for grabs

Universities may soon be able to register their web addresses as ".uni" or ".university" - at a cost. From April 2009, the global internet regulator, ICANN, is set to allow a greater number of bodies to set up their own internet registries, which manage domain names. About 1,000 new domain name extensions are to be approved, which will run alongside the current extensions such as.com, .org, .co.uk and .ac.uk. Law firm Pinsent Masons is advising universities and mission groups to consider applying for domain name extensions in order to protect their brands, but warns that the initial application fee - which has not yet been set - is likely to be about £250,000. Elite universities have the most to lose if their "brand name" is appropriated, it added. Applications for domain extensions will be approved by ICANN on a first-come, first-served basis.

Scottish degrees

Glasgow to offer three-year hons

The University of Glasgow is to break with tradition by offering three-year honours degrees in some science and engineering subjects from 2009. Until now the university has offered four-year degrees only. However, a spokesman said the university "remains fully committed to the four-year honours degree programme, which is one of the great strengths of the Scottish university system". While direct admission to the second year of a four-year degree has always been possible, the new degrees would be tailored to applicants with either highly graded A levels, the Advanced Higher qualifications (recognised as similar to the first level of the four-year degree) or the International Baccalaureate. The university also hopes that the new degrees will improve student retention and help to attract more overseas and non-Scottish applicants. Other Scottish universities, such as the University of Dundee, already offer three-year honours degrees to highly qualified applicants.

Work experience

Boost for foreign placements

The Scottish Government is giving more than £250,000 to boost the work of the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience, which arranges overseas work-experience placements for undergraduates and recent graduates in science, engineering and architecture. It will help 100 Scottish students a year to get placements abroad, and 100 Scottish university departments and companies offer placements to foreign students. Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish Government's Cabinet Secretary for Education, said: "The number of Scottish placements has increased more than threefold from 40 to 142 in the past two years. I want to support that continued development and enable more young undergraduates, businesses and universities to participate."

Correction

We referred to Evan Harris as the Liberal Democrat Health Spokesman ("NHS homoeopathy funding probe pledge to MPs", 13 November). He is the Science Spokesman. Norman Lamb speaks for health.

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