Today's news

August 6, 2003

Maths A level is to be made easier
The mathematics A level is to be made easier amid falling candidate numbers and fears that the subject could disappear from many universities. Ken Boston, chief executive of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, will today announce a new design for the course, with more time for students to master the basics of pure maths and fewer options in applied maths. From 2005, when the new exam starts, maths students will be unique in being able to get an A level by taking four AS exams and two harder A2 exams. In all other subjects students must get three ASs and three A2s. Dr Boston said there was no argument for other subjects to be changed.
(Financial Times, Guardian)

Job placement more help than degree
Doing work experience may be an easier way for students to get a job than achieving a top-class degree. Almost two-thirds of employers said they offered placements in hopes of finding permanent staff, according to research by the National Council for Work Experience.
(Financial Times)

Clemency urged for Iranian students
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has asked courts for clemency for students arrested during protests in June and July, the state news agency IRNA said yesterday.
(Daily Telegraph)

Earthlings to have close encounter with Red Planet
On August, Mars will be only 36 million miles from Earth, its closest since about 57,000BC. With interest in the red Planet likely to grow as it becomes brighter earlier in the evening over the next few weeks, the Royal Astronomical Society has decreed 23-30 August National Astronomy Week. Amateurs interested in observing Mars will need a telescope of at least six inches to see details on the surface.

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