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April 15, 2003

Ministers to examine 'study-while-you-work' degrees
A new kind of degree course is to be launched in which students graduate after conducting research while continuing in their full-time jobs. To graduate, students would complete their junior "PhD" by holding a public exhibition where they would "stand and defend" their research and be judged by their peers. Up to 500 people will enter the online pilot by this July at Anglia Polytechnic University and a thousand more will be enrolled by Christmas. Ministers will study the programme as they attempt to reach their 2010 target to expand higher education so that half the population is involved at some level.
(Financial Times)

US pledges review of student visa curbs
Tom Ridge, US secretary of homeland security, said on Monday that the US is prepared to make changes to controversial visa restrictions that have been imposed since September 11 2001 to try to keep terrorists out of the country. In a speech to the American Association of Universities, Mr Ridge pledged not "to sugarcoat the problem", acknowledging that the systems put into place to scrutinise foreign students and other visitors to the US have faced serious problems.
(Financial Times)

Bengali v-cs reject Anglo-American educational aid
All 14 vice-chancellors in West Bengal, India, have agreed that their universities will boycott all educational programmes sponsored or financed by the American and British governments, in protest against the war in Iraq. The decision has already led to the cancellation of an electronics conference sponsored by the US National Science Foundation scheduled for later this month at the University of North Bengal.

Ideas of the man with the campus keys
The government has given Steven Schwartz, vice-chancellor of Brunel University, the task of identifying principles to define university entrance. He has said that university dons should lose their responsibility for selecting new students. Instead, professional consultants should be used, as in his native United States. He has also suggested that the top 10 per cent from every secondary school could be given a place at university.

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