Today's news

October 8, 2003

Let rich pay £5,000 tuition fees, says Oxford master
The top 20 universities must be allowed to charge tuition fees of at least £5,000 a year if the decline in academic quality is to be halted, Lord Butler, the former Cabinet secretary and master of University College, Oxford, said yesterday. He told the annual meeting of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference the maximum fee of £3,000 proposed by the government was "completely inadequate".
( Daily Telegraph , Guardian , Times , Financial Times )

Oxford freshers get coach to negotiate 500-yard journey
Oxford Student Union, worried that new students will get lost on a 500-yard walk between two university buildings hosting the freshers' fair, is insisting on ferrying them by coach. A choir will be on hand at the back of the coach to ward off impatience should the roads be congested. The decision was criticised by Paul Sargent, the Oxford City Council member for Carfax. He said the students should be guided on foot between the two sites.
( Daily Telegraph )

Superconductivity scientists share Nobel prize
Three scientists won the Nobel physics prize yesterday for contributions made to understanding what happens to materials at extremely low temperatures. Alexei Abrikosov and Vitaly Ginzburg made their discoveries about electrical superconductivity in Russia during the 1950s and 1960s. British scholar Anthony Leggett, 65, who moved to the US 20 years ago, explained how liquid helium becomes superfluid at temperatures close to absolute zero.
( Financial Times , Daily Telegraph , Times , Guardian , Independent , Daily Mail )

Gene therapy could be childhood blindness cure
Scientists at University College London and Oxford University are to pioneer the development of gene therapy for chronic and incurable conditions by announcing the first clinical trials on the eye and brain beginning next year. A technique for inserting healthy genes into unhealthy organs is to be extended to treat childhood blindness and Parkinson's disease.
( Independent , Times , Daily Mail )

Stone Age discovery on road route
A rare Stone Age camp site where animals were butchered 300,000 years ago has been unearthed by archaeologists. The discovery was made during a routine dig on the route of a proposed road near Salisbury, Wiltshire.
( Daily Telegraph )

Oxford tries to work out what IT all means
Feature story on the Oxford Internet Institute, headed by US professor William Dutton, set up in 2001 to investigate the societal implications of the internet.
( Financial Times )

William Hill, emeritus professor of engineering at the University of Manchester, who played an important role in the development of UK civil nuclear power, has died, aged 80 ( Guardian ) · Donald Nicol, Byzantine historian, has died, aged 80 ( Times ).

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