Universities will use aptitude tests to filter students
Universities will strongly resist the government's attempt to interfere with their admission procedures through the regulator said Sir Derek Roberts, provost of University College, London. The failure of A levels to distinguish between strong candidates had led his university, together with Oxford and Cambridge, to bring in an aptitude test. The test, devised by an exam board, has been designed for medical and veterinary students but will be adapted for other subjects in future years. Charles Clarke, the education secretary, will announce more details of the work of the regulator in two weeks but has said he or she will have the power to stop universities charging top-up fees if they do not recruit enough students from working class homes.
A-level reforms a failure, says Ofsted chief
David Bell, the chief inspector of schools, issued a withering assessment of the A-level curriculum yesterday, in effect condemning the reform as a flop. He said that Curriculum 2000, promoted by the government as the biggest change to sixth-form study for half a century, had achieved much less than ministers intended.
Black hole 3bn times bigger than Sun weighed
Astronomers have weighed a supermassive black hole on the edge of the known universe and found that it is three times bigger than the Sun. The black hole is 13 billion light years away and can only be seen because it is in a quasar, a highly energetic galaxy emitting vast amounts of light.