Morris: QCA too rigid and slow
The main education standards authority needs to “raise its game” if it is to make vocational qualifications more relevant to business and improve the school examination system, says education secretary Estelle Morris. She said the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority had been too rigid and slow to respond to employers’ needs, and backed calls for a cut in the number of institutions issuing vocational qualifications. Minister for schools David Miliband has been given responsibility for overseeing changes to the authority.
( Financial Times, The Independent, The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph )
Scientists beam up laser beam
Teleportation – the disembodied transfer of an object from one place to another – has taken a significant step from Star Trek fiction to reality. An international research team based at the Australian National Laboratory in Canberra announced yesterday that it had teleported information between two laser beams. Ping Koy Lam, the project leader, said they had in effect “disassembled a laser and recreated an exact replica a metre away”.
( Financial Times, The Independent, The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail )
Medical schools face staff crisis
Medical schools are facing a crisis just as the government is increasing by half the number of students, the Academy of Medical Sciences has warned. The academy said one in five lecturer posts was unfilled.
( Financial Times, The Times )
Britain loses appeal among Muslims
Britain has fallen sharply as a first choice for study abroad among young people in Muslim countries, largely due to tougher competition from countries such as Australia, according to a report from the British Council.
( The Guardian, Education )
New Deal needs new incentives
Employers need bigger incentives to take on unemployed young people in areas with low labour demand under the New Deal initiative, according to a report. Peter Sunley of the University of Edinburgh and Ron Martin, professor of economic geography at Cambridge University, say: “Employers express reluctance to invest heavily in training young people because of high labour mobility.”
( Financial Times )
Shortage of resources for high-risk pregnancies
Hundreds of women with high-risk pregnancies are transferred between hospitals each year because of an acute shortage of intensive-care cots for premature and sick babies, according to a study published in the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology . During one three-month period, 258 pregnant women had to be moved to another hospital because specialist centres did not have adequate resources to treat them.
( The Independent, The Times )
Breast cancer gene identified
Japanese researchers have identified a gene that may prevent breast cancer, a discovery that could lead to tablets or injections to ward off the disease.
( The Independent )
Young smokers’ cardiac risk
Young people who smoke start to suffer significant damage to their hearts and blood vessels at a much earlier age than previously thought, according to Japanese research. A new scanning technique shows that smokers aged 18 to 35 showed signs of damage associated with coronary heart disease even though they appeared healthy on standard cardiac diagnosis tests.
( The Times )
Freud hits Tate Britain
The biggest exhibition of Lucian Freud opens this week at Tate Britain in London. Thirty works never shown in Britain are among the retrospective of 160 paintings on display from Thursday.
( The Independent, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph )
Tradition wins £25,000 portrait award
The £25,000 BP portrait award has been won by Catherine Goodman, director of the Prince of Wales Drawing Studio, London, for her portrait of headmaster Antony Sutch. It is the first time for many years that the prize has been awarded to a formal, traditional portrait.
( The Independent, The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph )
Authors scoop £80,000 in prizes
The Society of Authors handed out more than £80,000 in prize money last night in a set of prizes including the Betty Trask and Somerset Maugham awards. Hari Kunzru walked away with an £8,000 Betty Trask prize for his comic saga The Impressionist .
( The Independent )
Sex doesn’t sell
Sex and violence on television are bad news for advertisers, according to researchers at Iowa State University, US. Viewers are less likely to concentrate during commercial breaks when they are watching shows with adult content.
( Daily Mail )