Today's news

March 23, 2004

Oxford revives tests to select brightest pupils
The University of Oxford is moving to reintroduce entrance tests for history and English. The move comes just nine years after the university scrapped its entrance examinations amid concern that they favoured independent school pupils. Though the university insists the new tests will measure aptitude and not knowledge, the change is certain to provoke renewed criticism that the system will once again favour those with a privileged education, hindering government-driven efforts to widen access to elite universities.
( Guardian )

Teaching unions challenge sexual orientation laws
Lecturers are challenging laws that allow colleges and universities to refuse students because of their sexual orientation. Natfhe, the lecturer's union, is one of six unions in a High Court action against the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003.
( Times )

Greenwich appoints new v-c
Baroness Blackstone has been appointed vice-chancellor of the University of Greenwich with effect from September 2004.
( Times )

£100m more for medical research
An extra £100 million in government spending on medical research is to be channelled towards Alzheimer's disease, stroke, diabetes and mental health, John Reid, the health secretary, said yesterday. He told MPs that this would bring government spending in the field to £1.2 billion.
( Guardian )

Only written exams can root out cheats
Three letters on the issue of plagiarism raised last week by University of Kent sociologist Frank Furedi.
( Daily Telegraph )

Knowledge transfer the White Rose way
Feature article on how tapping the brains of academics is good business in Yorkshire, including a look at the University of Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at the heart of a 100-acre science park.
( Times )

The chemistry of course closure
The chancellor's pledge to increase higher education funding comes to late too prevent courses closing at universities across the country. A look at the subjects being hit and the cost to scholarship.
( Guardian )

Five-star event in the heavens
British stargazers will be able to witness a rare celestial show this week when five planets will be visible in the night sky at the same time. For about an hour and a half after sunset, given a clear sky, it will be possible to see Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, with the naked eye.
( Times )

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