Today's news

April 17, 2002

MP warns of rise in dropouts
Labour MP Barry Sheerman has warned that more students will drop out if the government sticks to its plans to get half of all people under 30 into higher education. He said there would be pressure to recruit "less able marginal students". ( The Independent )

V-cs attack government claims
Vice-chancellors have accused the government of wrongly claiming to have increased spending for teaching. The Higher Education Funding Council for England said last month that core funding per student would rise by 3.5 per cent this year, or 1 per cent in real terms. Vice-chancellors say it has increased by only 1.78 per cent — a real-terms cut of 0.72 per cent. ( The Guardian )

Scientists warn of Himalayan floods
More than 40 lakes in the Himalayas that formed from rapidly melting glaciers as a result of global warming could burst their banks within five years and kill tens of thousands of people, says a report from the United Nations Environment Programme. ( The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph )

Teachers slam UfI game show sponsorship
Teachers have attacked the decision by the government-funded adult-learning scheme University for Industry to spend £1 million of taxpayers' money to sponsor the ITV game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? ( The Independent )

Adult stem cells treat MS patients
Patients with multiple sclerosis have been treated with a revolutionary transplant of blood cells cultured from their own adult stem cells. Experts at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle pioneered the technique. ( The Daily Mail )

Researchers declare chilling success
Scientists have uncovered the molecular processes that transform liquid water to ice as it cools, Iwao Ohmine of Nagoya University in Japan and colleagues write in the journal Nature . ( The Daily Telegraph )

The perils of flip-flop
The North and South poles are about to swap places, and the implications for life are worrying. ( The Daily Telegraph )

Dracula manuscript at stake
The original manuscript of Bram Stoker's Dracula is expected to fetch more than £1 million when it goes up for sale at Christie's in New York. ( The Independent, The Times )

Polio eradication effort in danger
Polio is closer than ever to being eradicated, but the chance of doing so could slip away because of instability and war, the World Health Organisation has said. Last year, there were only 537 cases of the disease worldwide. ( The Times )   

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