Today's news

August 19, 2003

Top law courses plan entrance exam
The move by universities to sideline A levels gathered pace yesterday as tutors drew up plans for a national test to admit students to law courses.

Call for essay to grade A-level pupils
Sixth-form students would write dissertations to help the top universities to select the brightest youngsters in Tomlinson's proposed overhaul of A levels.

Comment on entrance exam plans
Excellent idea (Times); the tail of a chihuahua is wagging a dog the size of a brontosaurus (Independent); damning indictment of 'easy' A levels (Daily Mail, Daily Express)

Row over cost of 'Mickey Mouse' courses
Rising numbers of 'Mickey Mouse' university courses were condemned yesterday as a waste of money. The Tories have unveiled research into courses such as a foundation degree in hairdressing at Derby University and a BA in embroidery at the University of Central England.
(Daily Mail)

Serious game
Sir Michael Bichard, rector of the London Institute, in a letter criticises a report lampooning critics of Sheffield Hallam for introducing a 'PlayStation degree' and points out that the skills needed in computer game design are extremely high.

Underpaid and overqualified
Letter points out salary and qualifications disparities in the following jobs advertised at London University: postdoctoral research assistant, £23,259; laboratory technician, £22,889; press and public relations officer, £35,813.

Space probe paves way for European Moon landing
A space probe the size of a washing machine driven by a Star Trek drive no more powerful than a puff of breath is about to explore one of the solar system's oldest mysteries and pave the way for a European landing on the Moon. Smart-1, a £77 million European Space Agency probe carrying a British instrument that will settle questions about what the Moon is made of, will be launched aboard an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana on September 3.

Safe science is not always good science
The Royal Society must not be allowed to stifle the GM debate, argues Andy Rowell.

Lice prove link to birth of fashion
Humans first wore clothes about 72,000 years ago, according to an analysis of head and body lice that has provided the first estimate of when fashion was born. By employing a cunning genetic approach that takes advantage of the way clothing influenced the evolution of the head louse, Mark Stoneking and his team at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig have been able to explore this dark area.
(Daily Telegraph)

Tudor warship bow found
Marine archaeologists believe they may have found more remains of Mary Rose , the Tudor warship that sank near Portsmouth in 1545.
(Daily Telegraph, Guardian)

Political scientist pioneer dies
Richard Maidment, professor of American studies at the Open University, has died aged 58.

Think-tank criticises lack of support for manufacturing
Apprenticeships should be open to people in their forties and fifties, according to a report on the UK's declining manufacturing sector by the Institute for Public Policy Research.

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