Today's news

October 28, 2003

Oxford professor suspended for rejecting Israeli

Andrew Wilkie, Nuffield professor of pathology at Oxford University and fellow of Pembroke College, has been suspended for two months for rejecting Israeli PhD student Amit Duvshani on the grounds of his nationality. Duvshani's CV mentioned his mandatory national service in the Israeli Army. An Oxford spokeswoman said last night that a disciplinary panel had concluded that professor Wilkie should be suspended without pay and be required to undergo equal opportunities training.
( Times, Guardian, Daily Telegraph )

Edinburgh to establish £40m IT research centre
The University of Edinburgh is aiming to consolidate its position as Britain's leading research institution in informatics and computer science with a purpose-built £40 million centre designed to gather its researchers, students and industry partners under one roof. Timothy O'Shea, the university's principal and vice-chancellor, described the centre as the first in a new generation of university facilities. It will be designed to house 600 researchers in a single unit in the city centre and will include an incubator space for start-up companies.
( Financial Times )

Singaporean e-learning deal opens way to Scots degrees
More than 1,500 Singaporean students look set to study online for Scottish degrees and postgraduate qualifications after a £6 million tie-up between a Singapore college and the Interactive University, an e-learning company based in Edinburgh. The deal, announced yesterday by Jim Wallace, Scotland's enterprise minister, during a visit to Asia, would give students at Nanyang Institute of Management, a private college, remote online access to degree courses run by Heriot-Watt and Stirling Universities.
( Financial Times )

US to charge foreign students to track them
International students are to be charged $100 (£60) by the US department of homeland security to cover the cost of the database used to track them, nearly double what was recommended by their consultants KPMG. Students already have to pay a $100 visa-processing fee.
( Guardian, Chronicle of Higher Education )

Sunspots pose magnetic storm threat to Earth
Two sunspots, each the size of Jupiter, have raised fears of a solar storm that could cut electrical power, damage satellites and disrupt mobile phones. The US space agency Nasa issued a warning last week that the flares linked to the sunspots were about to hit the Earth. So far the predictions have not come true, but an expert on past storms said a huge storm that occurred 144 years ago could happen again at any time.
( Times, Daily Mail )

Deadly puffer fish yields painkiller
Canadian scientists have managed to isolate an active ingredient in the poison produced by the puffer fish that is 3,000 times stronger than morphine and can relieve pain for between eight and 21 days where traditional painkillers are no longer effective.
( Daily Mail )

Study says smoking doubles risk of MS
Smoking can more than double a person's chances of developing multiple sclerosis, a study published today in the journal Neurology says. The risk was higher even if people had given up cigarettes, the study author, from the University of Bergen in Norway, said.
( Daily Telegraph, Independent )

Parents' mockery can put kids off music for life
Children may be put off music for life if parents and teachers mock their attempts to sing or play an instrument, research by London University's Institute of Education suggests.
( Independent )

Other higher education items
Profile of Sir Alan Wilson, new higher education DG at the DFES ( Guardian ) · Report on Dr Ian Gibson, chair of the Commons science and technology committee ( Guardian ) · Report on colleges about to gain university status ( Guardian ) · Obituary: David McLintock, philologist and translator whose work in German studies influenced a generation of students, died on October 16, aged 72.
( Times )

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