Today's news

March 4, 2004


Students face EU fight for places
Extra money will have to be put into universities to protect places for home undergraduates following a predicted leap in numbers of students from the ten countries that join the European Union in May, Sir Howard Newby, head of the Higher Education Funding Council said yesterday. A report today from the Higher Education Policy Institute, a think-tank, predicts that 30,000 students will arrive from the "new" countries.
( Daily Telegraph, Times Higher, Guardian, Times, Financial Times, Daily Express )

Virtually no rise in cash for university teaching
Universities were told yesterday that government funding for teaching will rise by less than 1 per cent in real terms next year. The Higher Education Funding Council for England announced that total grants to universities would rise by 9.3 per cent in cash terms to nearly £6 billion for 2004-05. Funding for teaching would go up by 5.6 per cent to £3.83 billion. But the increase was only 0.9 per cent when inflation and the contribution from students' tuition fees were taken into account. Funding for capital projects was up by 60 per cent to £584 million, while money for research was increasing by 3.9 per cent to £1.08 billion.
( Times, Times Higher )

Online degrees fail taxpayers
A government scheme to promote online learning has attracted just 900 students in its first year at a cost to the taxpayer of £30,000 each. UK eUniversities Worldwide, which started in February 2000 to give students around the world a chance to gain British degrees via the internet, has fallen far short of its first year target of 5,600 students.
( Times )

Scientists back GM maize findings
The imminent decision to approve the growing of genetically modified maize in the UK will be supported by scientific advice that the crop remains more wildlife-friendly than conventional varieties, despite a EU ban on atrazine, a widely used and powerful weedkiller. Environmental groups claimed withdrawing atrazine could make conventional maize production less damaging to wildlife and so overturn the result. But findings, to be published on the website of the scientific magazine Nature , refute this.
( Financial Times )

Harvard reports stem cell experiment
Scientists at Harvard University said yesterday they had created 17 batches of stem cells from human embryos, defying President Bush's efforts to limit the research.
( Guardian )

Book-keepers top the literati league table
Accountants top the figures for the best-read workers. They spend more time reading for pleasure than teachers, MPs or clergy, according to a survey of the nation’s reading habits commissioned for World Book Day.
( Times, Daily Telegraph )

Undiegraduates on the Cambridge catwalk
Thirty-seven Cambridge undergraduates showed off the beauty behind the brains in the university's annual fashion parade in support of two children's charities.
( Daily Mail )

Bioscience evolves at a rapid rate
Supplement covering specialist courses and career outlook for bioscientists.
( Independent )

Searching for the idealist career
Despite an increase in the number of graduate jobs for 'ethical enthusiasts', competition to get on the first step of the ladder is fierce.
( Guardian )

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