Today's news

May 14, 2002

Ministers moot top-up fees for students
The government is considering allowing universities to charge top-up fees for students in spite of an election pledge to rule them out for the lifetime of the current parliament. (Independent)

University of Labour Party seeks student politicians
The Labour Party is to launch its own university this autumn to train activists and MPs. The project is the brainchild of David Triesman, the party's general secretary and former head of the Association of University Teachers. (Times)

Universities boost economy
University enterprise is fuelling an "economic renaissance" that is spreading from the larger, technology-driven institutions through the UK, says a report published today by Universities UK. (Guardian)

Rents hit the roof
Student accommodation costs are surging ahead of inflation. (Guardian)

Education needs a Wanless report
John Dunford says education could learn a lesson from the report into the health service. (Guardian)

Is the LSC's role threatened?
The head of the Adult Learning Inspectorate has denied muscling in on the Learning and Skills Council by launching his own unit to help failing training organisations to improve. (Guardian)

Export ban on Henry VIII papers
Baroness Blackstone, the arts minister, has placed a temporary export ban on an unpublished manuscript relating to the divorce of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon to give the nation a chance to acquire the historic treatise. (Times, Telegraph, Independent)

Bees take sting out of explosives
US defence scientists are training honey bees to abandon roses and nectar and hunt instead for tiny traces of 2,4-dinitroluene, a telltale ingredient in TNT and other explosives. (Guardian, Times, Telegraph)

E-voting fails to electrify battle of hustings
Pilots of e-voting in this year's local elections show that voter turn-out did not increase substantially, according to the Institute for Public Policy Research. (Telegraph)

Red wine can lower colds risk
"There is something in red wine that protects from colds," according to Miguel Hernan, of Harvard School of Public Health in the US. His study, conducted with Spanish scientists, found that the more red wine people drank, the greater the protection. (Times)

Don't forget over-30s in expansion plans
Expanding higher education is a laudable target, but we must not forget that it is important for those over 30, too, says Tom Schuller. (Guardian)

Higher education needs real diversity
Peter Scott argues for real, not bogus diversity. (Guardian)

What children really hate is avocados
A survey of 200 families conducted by University College London dieticians has found avocados to be top of children's hate list. Scientists are dismayed because avocados are the healthiest of fruits. (Mail)

Scientist cuts down superheroes
Spiderman and Superman would have struggled to save the world, according to Jim Kakalion, professor of physics at the University of Minnesota. He shows that the powers of the superheroes, supposedly grounded in science, are not only implausible, but inaccurate. (Times)   

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