University applicant numbers rise by 14,000
Applications for places on university courses have risen by more than 14,000 this year, according to figures released by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service today. 393,750 would-be students had applied by March 24 for full-time undergraduate courses starting this autumn, a rise of 3.9 per cent compared with this time last year. The number of women applicants has risen by 4.6 per cent against a 3.1 per cent in the number of men. Applications from overseas students also continue to rise; the most noticeable rises are from China and Malaysia, up 43.9 per cent and 33.9 per cent respectively.
(Financial Times, Independent, Guardian)
Ucas Extra sparks rise in mid-year applications
Get the full story on how a new Ucas service is matching university candidates with available places before clearing begins in today's edition of The THES. Click here for the story. Not a subscriber yet? Click here to sign-up for a free online trial of the next two editions.
Women with degrees more likely to reject motherhood
Highly educated women are increasingly postponing or rejecting motherhood, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. Based on women born between 1954 and 1958, research shows that the average age of motherhood is five years later for women with degrees than for those without. The percentage of women remaining childless has doubled from 10 per cent of those born in 1950 to about 20 per cent of those born in the early 1960s. Women educated to degree level are 50 per cent more likely to remain childless than their less-educated counterparts.
(Financial Times, Guardian)
Earth's ancient sea water to be analysed
British scientists, working with colleagues in Denmark and South Africa, are about to pioneer a way of investigating water droplets that have survived from seas where the Earth's first microbes developed 3.8 billion years ago. A £1 million laboratory opens in Leeds today to house the laser equipment that will be used to penetrate minute "wet" pockets in emerald and quartz crystals. It is hoped that the microscopic remnants will yield clues to how life developed.
UK graduate becomes the ultimate beach bum
A graduate who won a contest on a travel website to find the world's best beach chose Waikiki, Hawaii, after seven weeks and nearly 54,000 miles of research. Pete Shannon, 26, of Chichester, West Sussex, took 37 flights to visit 20 resorts. He placed Ihuru in the Maldives second, with Cancun, Mexico, third. Brighton was ranked last in the expedia.co.uk competition, which used 12 criteria.