Today's news

March 18, 2003

Chancellor Patten to head off fees unrest
Chris Patten will mark his first visit to Oxford as the university's new chancellor by holding talks with student leaders about improving financial aid to poorer undergraduates. Mr Patten, who secured a comfortable victory in the elections to the chancellorship yesterday, moved quickly to try to defuse the issue of increased tuition charges at Oxford. He said that he would travel to the city this weekend to meet Will Straw, president of the students' union, to discuss concerns about increased debt. Mr Patten did not commit himself to any sum that he would like to raise to help students at Oxford but he said that Harvard University spent £64 million a year on student support from its £11 billion endowment.
(Times, Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Independent)

Dundee signs £15m deal with drugs groups
Dundee University has signed one of the biggest ever industrial research deals with six of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies. The agreement with Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Astra-Zeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck of the US and Merck, the independent German pharmaceuticals group, is worth £15 million over the next five years, making it the largest UK collaboration between a university and the pharmaceutical industry. The money will fund 30 scientists working at the Wellcome Trust Biocentre.
(Financial Times)

Spelling spoils graduates' job chances
Nine out of ten graduates are turned down for a job because their CVs are full of errors of spelling and grammar, according to a study released today. Graduates and final-year students are ill-equipped to get a job that will enable them to pay off their loans, a public relations and marketing company that analysed more than 1,000 applications from undergraduates and graduates seeking trainee positions has found.
(Times)

Inflation by degrees
The higher education white paper calls for an investigation of alternative methods of presenting students' achievements in place of the simple figure on a degree certificate. But are degrees getting easier?
(Guardian)

Bronze Age mummies found
Bronze Age remains discovered in a 3,000-year-old house in the Western Isles could be the first prehistoric mummies found in Britain, archaeologists believe. A team from Sheffield University found a man, a woman, a teenage girl and a three-year-old in a crouched position with their knees under their chins at Cladh Hallan, on South Uist.
(Daily Telegraph)

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