Today's news

December 2, 2002

Firms may have to ease funds crisis
Business could be forced to meet some of the cost of the funding crisis in universities  identified by the government, it emerged yesterday. Education secretary Charles Clarke is reported to have said that higher education required a mix of “three and a half different sources of income” to solve its problems. “The half I would add in there is business,” he is reported as saying. One option could be to require businesses that employ graduates to pay extra national insurance contributions, though this would be hard to organise.
( The Guardian )

High fees would hand Oxford to rich
High tuition charges risk returning Oxford University to the days of Brideshead Revisited, when parental wealth determined the chances of prospective students, the head of one of its colleges said yesterday. Michael Beloff, president of Trinity College and a friend of prime minister Tony Blair, said top-up fees could deter students.
( The Times )

Report calls for shake-up of university admissions
The final report of the independent inquiry into this summer’s A-level fiasco, to be released tomorrow, will call for a radical shake-up of university admissions. Mike Tomlinson, former chief schools inspector who led the inquiry, will make clear that he backs moves to allow sixth-formers to apply for degree courses after they have taken their A levels.
( The Independent, The Times )

One man blamed for exam fiasco
The A-level “grade-fixing” scandal was the fault of one man, it was claimed last night. Ron McLone, boss of the Oxford, Cambridge and RSA examination board at the centre of the debacle, insisted on marking the new A2 A levels too harshly, an investigation into the case has revealed.
( Daily Mail, The Times )

Warwick success hides budget shortfall of £20m
The vice-chancellor of Warwick University, David VandeLinde, has said that Warwick’s £60 million teaching budget must rise by at least a third if it is to remain a world-class centre of education.  Warwick loses about £1,500 for every undergraduate it teaches.
( The Times )

South Bank must be flexible to balance books
Deian Hopkin, vice-chancellor of South Bank University, has found a variety of ways to balance the books. The university is turning to research to boost its income and is focusing on professional training courses.
( The Times )

vCJD screening may be years away, warns scientist
Reliable tests for the human form of BSE, variant CJD, might not be available for three to five years despite earlier hopes they could be used to screen blood donations in a few months. Translating promising research into cost-effective monitoring for the fatal condition is proving difficult, to the frustration of public health officials. Signs of delay came as Nobel prizewinner Stanley Prusiner of the University of California, San Fransisco, said in The Sunday Times that every Briton should be tested for the disease.
( The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Independent )

China fights Aids with student army
China will send 1 million students to the countryside in a belated attempt to curtail the spread of Aids. The mass mobilisation – to tell peasants of the Aids threat – reverses years of public neglect of an epidemic hitherto regarded as a disease afflicting only foreigners.
( The Daily Telegraph )

Concern surrounds science centre proposal
The government has got cold feet over plans to set up a national research and development centre in microsystems and nanotechnology, regional officials fear. Earlier this year, the Department of Trade and Industry asked regional development agencies to submit informal proposals for a centre to spearhead the effort in the discipline. But the government has told Advantage West Midlands it should delay submitting its proposals.
( Financial Times )

Protesters target Huntingdon
Animal rights activists staged demonstrations yesterday outside the homes of people employed by Huntingdon Life Sciences at the start of a week of global protests aimed at the laboratory, which uses animals in scientific tests.
( The Independent )

Degrees of quality
Report on a surge in demand for MBAs and fears over the quality of some courses.
( Financial Times )







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