Today's news

August 5, 2003

Overseas students exploited by £155 visa, v-c says
The vice-chancellor of Cambridge University has accused the government of exploiting overseas students by imposing large fees for extending their visas. Sir Alec Broers criticised the manner in which the Home Office introduced the charges and said that they would tarnish the international image of study in Britain. The Home Office decision was made without consultation with higher education establishments and announced last month. An estimated half a million students and individuals seeking to settle in Britain face a charge of £155 or £250 after the decision to introduce charges for extensions to visas.

Old poly teaches Oxford a lesson in training
The University of Staffordshire has knocked Oxford University off the top of the annual rankings of training providers. Staffordshire has challenged the traditional dominance of the old universities by specialising in business studies teaching, a strategy that took it to ninth in 2001 and second last year. Cambridge University takes third place, after a blip last year which pushed it down to 11th place from its usual position as runner-up. The highest climber is Bradford College. Big falls were recorded by the University of Hull and the University of Leeds.

OU reaps rewards of affinity credit card scheme
The Open University has received £2 million from HFC and Beneficial Bank as part of the OU affinity credit card. The OU, which in 1992 became the first university to run such a scheme, has just signed a deal to continue the arrangement for a further seven years.

Goodbye to hello and yo to ciao
Electronic messaging is throwing the English language into the mincer and spitting out a dish of patois blended from all manner of linguistic cuisines, according to a survey by MSN Messenger. The measured era of "Dear Sir" and "good morning" has fallen to "g'day", "hola", "easy tiger" and "wassup". We no longer remain, sir, your most humble and obedient servant; we sign off with "hasta la vista", "adios", "catch ya" or "check ya". Britons now apparently send 43 million of these speedy billets-doux every day.

Where the deuce do tennis balls go?
Peter McCrory, editor of the British Journal of Sports Medicine, wants to know where nearly 14 million tennis balls get to every year in Australia alone. Australia imports the equivalent of 0.6 balls for every member of the population every year. He contacted an Australian organisation called Waste Audit, which counts waste materials, but tennis balls did not even rate as an item of litter. He concedes that some will be eaten by dogs, but it still leaves too many unaccounted for.
(Daily Telegraph)

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