Today's news

August 18, 2003

Oxbridge sets new exam to select the best
Oxford and Cambridge universities are turning their back on A levels and reintroducing their own entrance exam papers after being overwhelmed by candidates with top grades.
( The Times )

Exam grade rise not confined to British students
Examination grade inflation is not unique to Britain, a study for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has found. Every significant industrialised country has recorded sharp increases in the numbers of students passing their school-leaving exams over the past four decades.
( The Times )

A-level pupils too tired to show ability
A report by former chief inspector of schools, Mike Tomlinson, has concluded that the sheer volume of AS-level examinations taken each day by pupils this summer caused them to flag during long sessions.
( The Independent )

Private schools check on admissions
The heads of leading private schools have begun investigating university admissions after rounding on Bristol University earlier this year for allegedly discriminating in favour of state-school applicants. Scrutiny of individual admissions policies by members of the Headmasters’ and Mistresses’ Conference and the Girls Schools’ Association will be based on this year’s A-level results.
( The Guardian )

Figures show rise in jobless graduates
Graduate unemployment has risen for the first time since comprehensive records began in 1994, provoking criticism of the government’s plan to raise tuition fees. The Higher Education Statistics Agency said unemployment in 2001-02 rose from 5 per cent to 6 per cent.
( The Guardian )

Students weigh cost of MBA
Report on why applications to business schools have fallen this year.
( Financial Times )

Hi-tech boom in maritime archaeology
Maritime archaeology has experienced a boom over the past two decades, as advances in technology – including the advent of miniature unmanned submarines - have made it easier to find and recover the treasures of the deep.
( The Times )

Heart drugs may cut risk of blindness
Heart drugs could reduce the risk of developing the commonest cause of blindness in elderly people - macular degeneration - a study in the British Journal of Ophthalmology has indicated.
( The Times )

MRC under fire
The Medical Research Council is facing questions over its scientific independence after it was forced to admit that a nutrition expert who criticised the Atkins diet has accepted cash to investigate the benefits of a high carbohydrate diet. The MRC said the Flour Advisory Bureau paid its Nutrition and Health Research Unit £10,000 to conduct a hunt for scientific literature on the advantages of carbohydrates.
( Financial Times, The Times )

Universe is fading
The universe is slowly fading, according to a study of 40,000 galaxies. Astronomers say that for about 6 billion years, not enough stars have been born to replace dying ones.
( The Times )


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