Today's news

March 22, 2004

German universities woo British students
German universities have mounted a publicity campaign to woo British and international students to their fee-free degree courses. Representatives of German universities are travelling to London this week to publicise courses taught in English that lead to internationally recognised bachelor degrees in the hope of convincing students to say "Nein, danke" to tuition fees of £3,000 a year.
( Times )

Animal rights protest to target Oxford lab
A university spokesman confirmed yesterday that an £18 million science facility currently being built at Oxford would use animals for testing. He insisted that work would not be delayed by the threat of civil disobedience and intimidation by anti-vivisection protesters. A coalition of animal rights groups said Oxford would become the new focus of their campaign after plans for a multimillion-pound laboratory at Cambridge were abandoned because of the excessive costs of protecting staff from activists.
( Daily Telegraph )

Britain faces huge bill for upkeep of EU students
Taxpayers could be saddled with a multimillion-pound bill to support European Union students at British universities, the Campaign for Real Education warned today. The government faces a European Court of Justice challenge that could force it to give undergraduates from EU countries the same help with living costs as UK students.
( Daily Mail )

Students wasting time and money on sexy science courses
Universities are shutting chemistry, physics and biology departments as "more fashionable" forensic science options take their place. The Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing, an advisory body to the government, says that thousands of students are wasting their time and money on "sexy" low-grade science degrees which will not lead to employment.
( Daily Telegraph )

Legal aid 'crisis' as poor pay deters trainees
The legal aid system is facing a crisis with only 7 per cent of trainee solicitors considering a career in the field, according to research published today. The Law Society survey of 1,522 trainees and 2,123 law students, will be presented tomorrow to the Commons constitutional affairs committee. ( Guardian )

Surgeons 'should be able to practise on live pigs and sheep'
The Royal College of Surgeons is calling for trainee surgeons to be allowed to practise on animals such as pigs before being let loose on people. Senior doctors say that rising patient expectations and cuts in the time available for training have increased the need for practise on live animals. The animals would be "terminally anaesthetised" during the operation and humanely killed afterwards without being revived.
( Independent )

Smokers 'suffer faster mental decline'
Elderly people who smoke lose their mental faculties up to five times faster than non-smokers according to a study of some 10,000 pensioners from Britain and continental Europe led by the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam. The research is published today in Neurology , the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
( Times )

New learning models under scrutiny
A special report on the ever-more demanding market for corporate learning, including a case study of the Open University Business School.
( Financial Times )

Higher education items in the weekend press
- Hefce has been discussing terminating the e-university project. ( Observer )
- Universities are regularly spying on foreign students for MI5. ( Sunday Telegraph )
- Most students do not take part in protests. ( Mail on Sunday )
- Student sold her virginity over the internet to help fund her studies. ( News of the World , March 21)
- Tim Gardam, former head of Channel 4 is to succeed Dame Ruth Deech as principal of St Anne's College, Oxford. ( Times , March 20)
- The University of Wales, Bangor, has signed an agreement with the University of Technology in Baghdad to support postgraduate training in environmental studies. ( Guardian , March 20)
- Aberdeen University is to close its student bar as a result of fierce competition from trendy pubs. ( Independent , March 20)

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