Today's news

September 29, 2003

Survey reveals fees will price students out of university
Student fees are making university a turn-off for thousands of working-class children, a poll commissioned by the Association of University Teachers revealed yesterday. Seven out of 10 parents on modest incomes say they cannot afford to let their children take a degree. And those who do, say they will avoid top colleges that can charge up to £3,000 a year.
(Sun, Daily Express)

Coup for Lums as Cary Cooper agrees to move
Cary Cooper, the high-profile professor of psychology at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, is moving to Lancaster University Management School to take up the post of professor of organisational psychology and health next month. The appointment is a coup for Lancaster, which is one of only two business schools in the UK to have a six-star rating in the latest Research Assessment Exercise. Keith Grint, director of research at Said Business School, Oxford, will also be joining Lancaster next spring and Pradeep Yadav, currently professor of finance at Strathclyde, is also moving to Lums.
(Financial Times)

An American view of the top-up fee debate
Tea and crumpets across Britain are going cold as teachers and students agitate. Writing in Thunderer, Michelle Henery, a Georgetown University graduate, is overwhelmed "at the ridiculous outcry over university top-up fees."
(Times)

Women in stilettos can walk tall without fear
Women who wear high heels are no more likely to develop knee problems than women who wear flat shoes. A team from Harvard blamed stilettos and Cuban heels five years ago for the higher incidence of osteoarthritis of the knee in women. But a study by the School of Health and Social Care at Oxford Brookes University published in the Journal of Environmental and Community Health exonerates the high heel. Not only does it not increase the risk of an arthritic knee, it may actually protect against it.
(Times, Daily Telegraph)

Suntan lotion raises risk of cancer
Sun creams could raise the risk of getting skin cancer, according to the findings of a 13-year-study led by Ray Sanders, based at Mount Vernon Hospital, north-west London.  Although lotions help prevent sunburn, they fail to block out the harmful ultraviolet rays that can cause the disease. The only ways to truly protect the skin are by staying in the shade at the hottest times of the day or by covering up with hats and T-shirts, Professor Sanders says. Mark Birch-Machin, a skin cancer spokesman for Cancer Research UK based at Newcastle University, backed up the findings last night.
(Daily Mail)

European probe lifts off for dark side of the Moon
More than 30 years after the Apollo astronauts walked on the Moon's surface, a European space probe has been launched to investigate its far side in a mission that could finally answer questions about the origin of Earth's closest neighbour. Smart 1, launched on board an Ariane 5 rocket from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana on Saturday night, will map the far side of the lunar surface, searching for signs of water ice in craters near its poles and gathering data on the chemical composition of its rocks.
(Independent)

Lessons from the past
"Britain is reconnecting with its own past through a growing diet of history programmes on television, yet medieval studies in our universities is suffering death by a thousand cuts", writes Pamela King of the International Society for the Study of Medieval Theatre.
(Guardian)

Scotland needs to go its own way on funding
Philip Schlesinger, director of the Stirling Media Research Institute, is heartened by the prospect of a debate about university research funding in Scotland. He writes that "Scotland's political class, the Scottish funding council and university leadership have been sleep-walking their way to a potential disaster." (Financial Times).

Weekend paper round-up

Pay as you learn: Paul Farrelly and Steven Schwartz discuss top-up fees (Guardian, Saturday) • Letter: Fixing admissions at Cambridge (Daily Telegraph, Saturday) • Brunel University has pulled out of the clearing process in many subjects (Independent on Sunday) • Top-up fees will deter poorer parents from sending their children to university (Observer) • Comment: The government is largely at fault for the crisis in university admissions (Sunday Times) •  Is your child up to the university challenge? (Mail on Sunday) • Scots universities experience boom because students leave with smaller debts (Mail on Sunday).

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