Today's news

January 19, 2004

Concession to rebels as top-up fees revolt eases
Labour rebels will be presented with the government’s final concession on tuition fees today, as the revolt appears to lose momentum. Charles Clarke, the education secretary, will circulate his proposals for students from the poorest backgrounds to receive a £1,200 sum, designed to offset the higher fees of up to £3,000, before they begin their studies. The sum would come on top of the £1,500 grant for non-traditional students that was announced in an earlier concession.
( The Times , The Guardian )

Tories to scrap tuition fees stance
Michael Howard, the Conservative leader, admitted yesterday that the Tory policy on tuition fees would do nothing to solve the £11 billion university funding crisis and would have to be rewritten before the election. Mr Howard put the final nail in the coffin of former leader Iain Duncan Smith’s proposals to make higher education free by reducing the number of students and scrapping the bureaucracy created by Labour.
( The Daily Telegraph )

Bill’s defeat will hit poor students, says v-c
Poor students will lose financial aid worth thousands of pounds if the government is defeated over plans to raise tuition fees, a university head has warned. Steve Smith, vice-chancellor of Exeter University, said that efforts to attract more working-class students would be severely damaged unless the university could raise money for bursaries through increased fees.
( The Times )

Tartan army could save Blair
Daily Mail survey exposes the tartan army of loyal Scottish Labour backbenchers who will support Tony Blair on top-up fees, even though the policy will not apply north of the border. Thirteen backbenchers support Mr Blair’s policy.
( Daily Mail )

Rent rise could mean £40,000 Oxford bill
A secret plan to abolish subsidies at Oxford University could raise the cost of earning a degree at the university to more than £40,000. College bursars are considering more than doubling rents to £6,000 a year, following an audit to calculate the cost of accommodating students at the university. At present the cheapest rooms are in Jesus College at £1,541.
( The Times )

Embryo cloning scientist rebuked
A scientist who claims that he has implanted a cloned embryo in a 35-year-old woman was condemned yesterday. Panayiotis Zavos, who runs a fertility clinic in Kentucky, said that he had implanted a freshly cloned embryo into the infertile woman in the past two weeks. John Reid, health secretary, said human cloning was a ‘gross misuse of genetic science’.
( The Times , Daily Mail , The Daily Telegraph )

Atom scientists detained
Pakistan has detained at least five top scientists and officials at its leading nuclear weapons laboratory in an inquiry into whether sensitive technology may have been leaked to Iran, North Korea and Libya, the information minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, has said.
( The Guardian , The Independent )

Why Russians get as drunk as a warlord
Russian scientists researching cures for alcoholism and hangovers say they have found a genetic link between their countrymen’s traditional weakness for drink and the marauding Mongol armies of Genghis Khan. As many as 50 per cent of Muscovites are estimated to have inherited Mongol genes that make them absorb more alcohol into the bloodstream than most Europeans, say scientists at the health ministry’s National Narcology Research Centre.
( The Times )

Tradesmen tap into free MBA expertise
Report on how, an innovative consultancy scheme is providing valuable lessons for students from New York University’s Stern School of Business.
( Financial Times )

Hubble is abandoned to its lonely vigil in space
Report on how as Nasa is turning its attention to Mars, the Hubble telescope faces an uncertain future without shuttle maintenance missions.
( The Daily Telegraph )

Racial divide returns to US schools
A creeping return to segregation of American schools has left its classrooms as racially divided today as they were in 1969, according to a Harvard University study.
( The Daily Telegraph )

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