Today's news

September 9, 2002

Hodge strengthens pledge to increase graduate numbers
University vice-chancellors will be told this week that there is no going back on the government’s pledge to give half the population a university-level education. Margaret Hodge, the minister for higher education, even hinted that the target may fall short of providing enough graduates for the needs of the economy. Ms Hodge will address vice-chancellors this week at their annual conference. ( The Financial Times )

Scientists urged to fight ‘anti-intellectual’ mood
Scientists must fight a growing “anti-science” and “anti-intellectual” mood in society, Sir Howard Newby will tell the British Association for the Advancement of Science conference today, at the opening of its annual festival. ( The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Times )

Disease-tracking network doomed
The network of laboratories that identifies diseases and tracks epidemics in England, the Public Health Laboratory Service, is to be broken up on the government’s orders – despite opposition from experts and unions who fear that public health could suffer. ( The Times )

CBI warning over unskilled jobs
Leaving school early to get a job will soon be a thing of the past, according to the Confederation of British Industry. A CBI survey found that 47 per cent of employers will recruit graduates over the next three years. In the same period, demand for people with no qualifications will drop by 29 per cent. ( The Financial Times )

Ownership tussle in ivory towers
A dispute over intellectual property rights at the University of Cambridge has raised questions about academics’ legal status and the increasing trend for universities to view themselves as businesses. ( The Financial Times )

Squirrel key to transplant success
Scientists are studying hibernating mammals to improve the preservation of organs for transplants. Hannah Carey, a professor of comparative bioscience at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, found that ground squirrels suffer some physiological stress during hibernation, but it seems that they can counteract most of the effects of being frozen. ( The Times )

Much action, little improvement in the zone
The government’s education action zone programme has failed to make adequate improvements in secondary schools despite extra funding of up to £1 million a year for each zone, an official analysis has found. ( The Independent )

Discovering the US way of giving
European business schools are focusing their fundraising efforts on the US, where the culture of philanthropy is deeply rooted. ( The Financial Times )

Business class
Applications soar for places at UK business schools, but UK must sharpen up if it is to keep its place on world stage. (Special report on business education, including a ranking of the top UK and Irish MBA programmes, The Financial Times )

Eye on the far-away sky
A revolutionary telescope called Darwin, stationed 1.5 million kilometres from Earth, could by 2014 be scanning star fields. The mission would be the most ambitious science project proposed to date by the European Space Agency. ( The Independent )

Avoid affairs or face the music
The Royal Academy of Music has issued a code of conduct, warning tutors that they risk being seen as taking advantage of students if they have affairs. It follows a series of allegations against one of its teachers. ( The Daily Mail)

Obituaries
The American scientist Martin Kamen, who helped discover the radioactive isotope carbon-14, which led to carbon dating in archaeology, has died, aged 89. ( The Guardian )

Physicist and folk musician John Hasted has died, aged 81. ( The Guardian )

Michael Bacharach, influential economist and game theorist and professor of economics at Oxford University, has died, aged 66. ( The Independent )

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