Today's news

March 11, 2003

Rembrandt comes out of disguise
A Rembrandt self-portrait has been rediscovered after remaining hidden for more than 300 years under layers of paint applied by one of his pupils. Shortly after Rembrandt painted the portrait of himself in 1634, he allowed a member of his studio to transform the painting into a picture that no longer bore any resemblance to the Dutch master. It is now expected to fetch at least £5 million at auction.
(Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Independent)

Robot milking? Pull the udder one
A robot inspired by a vacuum cleaner and fitted with a discerning eye for a bursting teat may be about to take over the milking. The design, dreamed up by Bruce Davies, of Heriot-Watt University, while studying for his PhD, earned a £98,000 grant yesterday from Nesta, the national endowment for science, technology and the arts. If herds unburden themselves three or even four times a day, yields could rise by 10 per cent or 20 per cent. The system could soon be on offer to 200,000 dairy farms across Europe.

White paper is a curate's egg
Sheffield Hallam vice-chancellor Diana Green says that the government is out of touch with the link between business and education.

White paper will not set universities free
Kingston vice-chancellor Peter Scott acknowledges the white paper is radical, but says that the long view tells a different story.

Turn of the screw
Draconian funding cuts are damaging departments at middle-ranking universities across the country.

Ivory powers
As the government sets universities the task of transforming themselves into engines of economic growth, Teesside and Bristol demonstrate how they have fared trying to turn academic wisdom into business nous.

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